Nobel Prize controversies

Nobel Prize controversies

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Encyclopedia
Subsequent to his death in 1896, the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer. He is the inventor of dynamite. Nobel also owned Bofors, which he had redirected from its previous role as primarily an iron and steel producer to a major manufacturer of cannon and other armaments...

 established the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

s. Annual prizes were to be awarded for service to humanity in the fields of physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

, chemistry
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature,...

, physiology or medicine
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the field of life science and medicine. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in his will...

, literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, and peace
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

. Similarly, the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is awarded along with the Nobel Prizes. Since the first award in 1901, the prizes have engendered criticism and controversy.

Nobel sought to reward "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind". One prize, he stated, should be given "to the person who shall have made the most important 'discovery' or 'invention' within the field of physics". Awards committees have historically rewarded discoveries over inventions: 77% of Nobel Prizes in physics have been given to discoveries, compared with only 23% to inventions. In addition, the scientific prizes typically reward contributions over an entire career rather than a single year.

No Nobel Prize was established for mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and many other scientific and cultural fields. An early theory that jealousy led Nobel to omit a prize to mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler was refuted because of timing inaccuracies. Another possibility is that Nobel did not consider mathematics as a "practical" discipline. Both the Fields Medal
Fields Medal
The Fields Medal, officially known as International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, is a prize awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union , a meeting that takes place every four...

 and the Abel Prize
Abel Prize
The Abel Prize is an international prize presented annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. The prize is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel . It has often been described as the "mathematician's Nobel prize" and is among the most prestigious...

 have been described as the "Nobel Prize of mathematics".

The most notorious controversies have been over prizes for Literature, Peace and Economics. Beyond disputes over which contributor's work was more worthy, critics most often discerned political bias and Eurocentrism
Eurocentrism
Eurocentrism is the practice of viewing the world from a European perspective and with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European culture...

 in the result. The interpretation of Nobel's original words concerning the Literature prize have been repeatedly revised.

Chemistry


The 2008 prize was awarded to Osamu Shimomura
Osamu Shimomura
is a Japanese organic chemist and marine biologist, and Professor Emeritus at Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and Boston University Medical School...

, Martin Chalfie
Martin Chalfie
Martin Chalfie is an American scientist. He is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, where he is also chair of the department of biological sciences. He shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien "for the...

 and Roger Y. Tsien
Roger Y. Tsien
Roger Yonchien Tsien is a Chinese American biochemist and a professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego...

 for their work on green fluorescent protein
Green fluorescent protein
The green fluorescent protein is a protein composed of 238 amino acid residues that exhibits bright green fluorescence when exposed to blue light. Although many other marine organisms have similar green fluorescent proteins, GFP traditionally refers to the protein first isolated from the...

 or GFP. However, Douglas Prasher
Douglas Prasher
Douglas C. Prasher is an American molecular biologist. He is known for his work to clone and sequence the gene for green fluorescent protein and for his proposal to use GFP as a tracer molecule.-Career:...

 was the first to clone the GFP gene and suggested its use as a biological tracer. Martin Chalfie stated, "(Douglas Prasher's) work was critical and essential for the work we did in our lab. They could've easily given the prize to Douglas and the other two and left me out." Dr. Prasher's accomplishments were not recognized and he lost his job. When the Nobel was awarded in 2008, Dr. Prasher was working as a courtesy shuttle bus driver in Huntsville Alabama.

The 2000 prize "for the Discovery and Development of Conductive polymer
Conductive polymer
Conductive polymers or, more precisely, intrinsically conducting polymers are organic polymers that conduct electricity. Such compounds may have metallic conductivity or can be semiconductors. The biggest advantage of conductive polymers is their processability, mainly by dispersion. Conductive...

s" to Alan J. Heeger
Alan J. Heeger
Alan Jay Heeger is an American physicist, academic and Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry.Heeger was born in Sioux City, Iowa to a Jewish family. He earned a B.S. in physics and mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1957, and a Ph.D in physics from the University of California,...

,
Alan MacDiarmid
Alan MacDiarmid
Alan Graham MacDiarmid ONZ was a chemist, and one of three recipients of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2000.-Early life:He was born in Masterton, New Zealand as one of five children - three brothers and two sisters...

, and
Hideki Shirakawa
Hideki Shirakawa
Hideki Shirakawa is a Japanese chemist and winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of conductive polymers together with physics professor Alan J. Heeger and chemistry professor Alan G...

 recognized the 1977 discovery of passive high-conductivity in oxidized iodine-doped polyacetylene
Polyacetylene
Polyacetylene is an organic polymer with the repeat unit n. The high electrical conductivity discovered for these polymers beginning in the 1960's accelerated interest in the use of organic compounds in microelectronics...

 black and related materials, as well as determining conduction mechanisms and developing devices, especially batteries. The citation alleges that this work led to present-day "active" devices, where a voltage or current controls electron flow. However, three years before their discovery, an active organic polymer electronic device was reported in the journal Science. In the "ON" state it showed almost metallic conductivity. This device is now on the "Smithsonian chips" list of key discoveries in semiconductor technology. Moreover, 14 years earlier, Weiss and coworkers in Australia had reported equivalent high electrical conductivity in an almost identical compound—oxidized, iodine-doped polypyrrole
Polypyrrole
Polypyrrole is a chemical compound formed from a number of connected pyrrole ring structures. For example a tetrapyrrole is a compound with four pyrrole rings connected. Methine-bridged cyclic tetrapyrroles are called porphyrins. Polypyrroles are conducting polymers of the rigid-rod polymer host...

 black. Eventually, the Australian group achieved resistances as low as 0.03 ohm/cm. This was roughly equivalent to the later efforts. Slightly later, DeSurville and coworkers reported high conductivity in a polyaniline
Polyaniline
Polyaniline is a conducting polymer of the semi-flexible rod polymer family. Although the compound itself was discovered over 150 years ago, only since the early 1980s has polyaniline captured the intense attention of the scientific community. This is due to the rediscovery of its high electrical...

. This award also ignored the 1955 discovery of highly-conductive organic charge transfer complex
Charge transfer complex
A charge-transfer complex or electron-donor-acceptor complex is an association of two or more molecules, or of different parts of one very large molecule, in which a fraction of electronic charge is transferred between the molecular entities. The resulting electrostatic attraction provides a...

es. Some of these were superconductive. The Nobel Prize information page omitted these earlier discoveries and emphasized the importance of the Nobel laureates in launching the field.

The 1993 prize credited Kary Mullis
Kary Mullis
Kary Banks Mullis is a Nobel Prize winning American biochemist, author, and lecturer. In recognition of his improvement of the polymerase chain reaction technique, he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Michael Smith and earned the Japan Prize in the same year. The process was first...

 with the development of the polymerase chain reaction
Polymerase chain reaction
The polymerase chain reaction is a scientific technique in molecular biology to amplify a single or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence....

 (PCR) method, a central technique in molecular biology
Molecular biology
Molecular biology is the branch of biology that deals with the molecular basis of biological activity. This field overlaps with other areas of biology and chemistry, particularly genetics and biochemistry...

 which allowed for the amplification of specified DNA sequences. However, others claimed that Norwegian scientist Kjell Kleppe, together with 1968 Nobel Prize laureate H. Gobind Khorana, had an earlier and better claim to the discovery dating from 1969. Mullis' co-workers at that time denied that he was solely responsible for the idea of using Taq polymerase
Taq polymerase
thumb|228px|right|Structure of Taq DNA polymerase bound to a DNA octamerTaq polymerase is a thermostable DNA polymerase named after the thermophilic bacterium Thermus aquaticus from which it was originally isolated by Thomas D. Brock in 1965...

 in the PCR process. Rabinow raised the issue of whether or not Mullis "invented" PCR or "merely" came up with the concept of it. However, Khudyakov and Howard Fields claimed "the full potential [of PCR] was not realized" until Mullis' work in 1983.

The 1961 prize for carbon assimilation in plants awarded to Melvin Calvin
Melvin Calvin
Melvin Ellis Calvin was an American chemist most famed for discovering the Calvin cycle along with Andrew Benson and James Bassham, for which he was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He spent most of his five-decade career at the University of California, Berkeley.- Life :Calvin was born...

 was controversial because it ignored the contributions of Andrew Benson
Andrew Benson
Andrew Alm Benson is an American biologist and a professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego until his retirement in 1989...

 and James Bassham
James Bassham
James Alan Bassham James Alan Bassham James Alan Bassham (born November 26, 1922 in Sacramento, California is an American scientist known for his work on photosynthesis.He received a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1945 from the University of California and his Ph.D. degree in 1949...

. While originally named the Calvin cycle
Calvin cycle
The Calvin cycle or Calvin–Benson-Bassham cycle or reductive pentose phosphate cycle or C3 cycle or CBB cycle is a series of biochemical redox reactions that take place in the stroma of chloroplasts in photosynthetic organisms...

, many biologists and botanists now refer to the Calvin-Benson, Benson-Calvin, or Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle. Three decades after winning the Nobel, Calvin published an autobiography titled "Following the trail of light" about his scientific journey which didn't mention Benson.

Fritz Haber
Fritz Haber
Fritz Haber was a German chemist, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918 for his development for synthesizing ammonia, important for fertilizers and explosives. Haber, along with Max Born, proposed the Born–Haber cycle as a method for evaluating the lattice energy of an ionic solid...

's 1918 prize for developing an industrial process of producing ammonia
Haber process
The Haber process, also called the Haber–Bosch process, is the nitrogen fixation reaction of nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas, over an enriched iron or ruthenium catalyst, which is used to industrially produce ammonia....

 was controversial because of his leadership of Germany's World War I chemical warfare program
Poison gas in World War I
The use of chemical weapons in World War I ranged from disabling chemicals, such as tear gas and the severe mustard gas, to lethal agents like phosgene and chlorine. This chemical warfare was a major component of the first global war and first total war of the 20th century. The killing capacity of...

.

Henry Eyring
Henry Eyring
Henry Eyring was a Mexican-born American theoretical chemist whose primary contribution was in the study of chemical reaction rates and intermediates....

 (1901–1981) allegedly failed to receive the prize because of his Mormon faith.

Dmitri Mendeleyev, who originated the periodic table
Periodic table
The periodic table of the chemical elements is a tabular display of the 118 known chemical elements organized by selected properties of their atomic structures. Elements are presented by increasing atomic number, the number of protons in an atom's atomic nucleus...

 of the elements
Chemical element
A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, copper, gold, mercury, and lead.As of November 2011, 118 elements...

, never received a Nobel Prize. He completed his first periodic table in 1869. However, a year earlier, another chemist, Julius Lothar Meyer
Julius Lothar Meyer
Julius Lothar von Meyer was a German chemist. He was contemporary and competitor of Dmitri Mendeleev to draw up the first periodic table of chemical elements...

, had reported a somewhat similar table. In 1866 John Alexander Reina Newlands
John Alexander Reina Newlands
John Alexander Reina Newlands was an English chemist who invented the Periodic Table.Newlands was born in London and was the son of a scottish Presbyterian minister and his Italian wife....

, presented a paper that first proposed a periodic law. However, none of these tables were correct—the 19th century tables arranged the elements in order of increasing atomic weight (or atomic mass
Atomic mass
The atomic mass is the mass of a specific isotope, most often expressed in unified atomic mass units. The atomic mass is the total mass of protons, neutrons and electrons in a single atom....

). It was left to Henry Moseley
Henry Moseley
Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley was an English physicist. Moseley's outstanding contribution to the science of physics was the justification from physical laws of the previous empirical and chemical concept of the atomic number. This stemmed from his development of Moseley's law in X-ray spectra...

 to base the periodic table on the atomic number
Atomic number
In chemistry and physics, the atomic number is the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom and therefore identical to the charge number of the nucleus. It is conventionally represented by the symbol Z. The atomic number uniquely identifies a chemical element...

 (the number of protons). Mendeleyev died in 1907, six years after the first Nobel Prizes were awarded. He came within one vote of winning in 1906, but died the next year. Hargittai claimed that Mendeleyev's omission was due to behind-the-scenes machinations of one dissenter on the Nobel Committee who disagreed with his work.

Economics


Economics was not on Nobel's list of prize disciplines. The Bank of Sweden created it in 1969. Although governed by the same rules as the others, this prize was criticized by many, including members of the Nobel Family, for violating Nobel's intent. As of 2010, faculty of the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 had garnered nine Prizes—far more than any other university. This led to claims of bias against alternative or heterodox
Heterodox economics
"Heterodox economics" refers to approaches or to schools of economic thought that are considered outside of "mainstream economics". Mainstream economists sometimes assert that it has little or no influence on the vast majority of academic economists in the English speaking world. "Mainstream...

 economics.

The 2008 prize went to Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman
Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist, professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times...

 "for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity". Krugman was a fierce critic of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. The award produced charges of a left-wing bias, with headlines such as "Bush critic wins 2008 Nobel for economics", prompting the prize committee to deny "the committee has ever taken a political stance."

The 2005 prize to Robert Aumann
Robert Aumann
Robert John Aumann is an Israeli-American mathematician and a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences. He is a professor at the Center for the Study of Rationality in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel...

 "for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory
Game theory
Game theory is a mathematical method for analyzing calculated circumstances, such as in games, where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others...

 analysis", was criticized by the European press due to his alleged use of game theory to oppose the dismantling of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

.

The 1994 prize to John Forbes Nash
John Forbes Nash
John Forbes Nash, Jr. is an American mathematician whose works in game theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations have provided insight into the forces that govern chance and events inside complex systems in daily life...

 and others "for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games
Game theory
Game theory is a mathematical method for analyzing calculated circumstances, such as in games, where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others...

" caused controversy within the selection committee because of Nash' mental illness
Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social...

 and alleged anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

. The controversy resulted in a change to the governing committee: members served three year instead of unlimited terms and the prize's scope expanded to include political science, psychology, and sociology.

The 1976 prize was awarded to Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

 "for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilisation policy". The award caused international protests, mostly by the radical left, ostensibly because of Friedman's brief association with Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

an dictator Augusto Pinochet
Augusto Pinochet
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet , was a Chilean army general and dictator who assumed power in a coup d'état on 11 September 1973...

. During March 1975 Friedman visited Chile and gave lectures on inflation, meeting with Pinochet and other government officials.

Literature


The Prize in Literature has a history of controversial awards and notorious snubs. More indisputably major authors have been ignored by the Nobel Committee than have been honored by it, including Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu...

, Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure in the early modernist movement in poetry...

, James Joyce
James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

, Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

, Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

, Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo , known as Jorge Luis Borges , was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school, receiving his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The family...

, Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.-Early life:...

, August Strindberg
August Strindberg
Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography,...

, John Updike
John Updike
John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic....

, Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons , Death of a Salesman , The Crucible , and A View from the Bridge .Miller was often in the public eye,...

, Yannis Ritsos, often for political or extra-literary reasons. Conversely, many writers whom subsequent criticism regarded as minor, inconsequential or transitional won the prize.

From 1901 to 1912, the committee's work reflected an interpretation of the "ideal direction" stated in Nobel's will as "a lofty and sound idealism", which caused Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

, Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

, Émile Zola
Émile Zola
Émile François Zola was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism...

 and Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

 to be rejected. Sweden's historic antipathy towards Russia was cited as the reason neither Tolstoy
Tolstoy
Tolstoy, or Tolstoi is a prominent family of Russian nobility, descending from Andrey Kharitonovich Tolstoy who served under Vasily II of Moscow...

 nor Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

 took the prize. During World War I and its immediate aftermath, the committee adopted a policy of neutrality, favoring writers from non-combatant countries.

The heavy focus on European authors, and Swedes in particular, has been the subject of mounting criticism, including from major Swedish newspapers. The majority of the laureates have been European. Swedes received more prizes than all of Asia. In 2008, Horace Engdahl
Horace Engdahl
Horace Oscar Axel Engdahl is a Swedish literary historian and critic, and has been a member of the Swedish Academy since 1997. He was the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, i.e. its spokesman, from 1999 to June 2009, when he was succeeded by historian Peter Englund.-Biography:Engdahl was...

, then the permanent secretary of the Academy, declared that "Europe still is the center of the literary world" and that "the US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature." In 2009, Engdahl's replacement, Peter Englund
Peter Englund
Peter Englund is a Swedish author and historian, and the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy since 1 June 2009.-Biography:...

, rejected this sentiment ("In most language areas ... there are authors that really deserve and could get the Nobel Prize and that goes for the United States and the Americas, as well,") and acknowledged the Eurocentric bias of the selections, saying that, "I think that is a problem. We tend to relate more easily to literature written in Europe and in the European tradition."

The 2009 prize awarded to Herta Müller
Herta Müller
Herta Müller is a Romanian-born German novelist, poet and essayist noted for her works depicting the effects of violence, cruelty and terror, usually in the setting of Communist Romania under the repressive Nicolae Ceauşescu regime which she experienced herself...

 was attacked because many US literary critics and professors had never heard of Müller before. This reignited criticism that the committee was too Eurocentric.

The 2005 prize went to Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

 "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms".. The award was delayed for some days, apparently due to Knut Ahnlund
Knut Ahnlund
Knut Emil Ahnlund is a Swedish literary historian, writer, and member of the Swedish Academy.Ahnlund is an expert on 19th and 20th century Nordic, especially Danish, literature. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Henrik Pontoppidan, and has later written on Gustav Wied and Sven Lidman, among...

's resignation. In turn, this renewed speculation about a "political element" existing in the Swedish Academy's awarding of the Prize. Although poor health prevented him from giving his controversial Nobel Lecture, "Art, Truth and Politics", in person, he appeared on video, which was simultaneously transmitted on Britain's Channel Four. The issue of "political stance" was also raised in response to Orhan Pamuk
Orhan Pamuk
Ferit Orhan Pamuk , generally known simply as Orhan Pamuk, is a Turkish novelist. He is also the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches comparative literature and writing....

 and Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Doris May Lessing CH is a British writer. Her novels include The Grass is Singing, The Golden Notebook, and five novels collectively known as Canopus in Argos....

, prizewinners in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

The 2004 prize was awarded to Elfriede Jelinek
Elfriede Jelinek
Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004 for her "musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that, with extraordinary linguistic zeal, reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power."-...

. Inactive since 1996 Academy member Knut Ahnlund resigned, alleging that selecting Jelinek had caused "irreparable damage" to the prize's reputation.

The 1997 prize went to Italian performance artist Dario Fo
Dario Fo
Dario Fo is an Italian satirist, playwright, theater director, actor and composer. His dramatic work employs comedic methods of the ancient Italian commedia dell'arte, a theatrical style popular with the working classes. He currently owns and operates a theatre company with his wife, actress...

 and was initially considered "rather lightweight" by some critics, as he was seen primarily as a performer and had previously been censured by the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. Salman Rushdie and Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons , Death of a Salesman , The Crucible , and A View from the Bridge .Miller was often in the public eye,...

 had been favored to receive the Prize, but a committee member was later quoted as saying that they would have been "too predictable, too popular."

The 1974 prize was denied to Graham Greene
Graham Greene
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English author, playwright and literary critic. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world...

, Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

, and Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow was a Canadian-born Jewish American writer. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts...

 in favor of a joint award for Swedish authors Eyvind Johnson
Eyvind Johnson
Eyvind Johnson, was a Swedish writer and author. He became a member of the Swedish Academy in 1957 and shared the Nobel Prize in Literature with Harry Martinson in 1974 with the citation: for a narrative art, far-seeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom.Johnson was born Olof Edvin...

 and Harry Martinson
Harry Martinson
Harry Martinson was a Swedish sailor, author and poet. In 1949 he was elected into the Swedish Academy. He was awarded a joint Nobel Prize in Literature in 1974 together with fellow Swede Eyvind Johnson. The choice for Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson was very controversial as both were on the...

—both Nobel judges—and unknown outside their home country. Bellow won in 1976; neither Greene nor Nabokov took home the prize.

The 1970 prize was awarded to Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was aRussian and Soviet novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his often-suppressed writings, he helped to raise global awareness of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly in The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of...

, who did not attend the ceremony in Stockholm for fear that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 would prevent his return. His works there are available only in Samizdat
Samizdat
Samizdat was a key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader...

-published, clandestine form. After the Swedish government refused to hold a public award ceremony and lecture at its Moscow embassy, Solzhenitsyn refused the award altogether, commenting that the conditions set by the Swedes (who preferred a private ceremony) were "an insult to the Nobel Prize itself." Solzhenitsyn later accepted the award on 10 December 1974, after the Soviet Union banished him.

Czech writer Karel Čapek
Karel Capek
Karel Čapek was Czech writer of the 20th century.-Biography:Born in 1890 in the Bohemian mountain village of Malé Svatoňovice to an overbearing, emotional mother and a distant yet adored father, Čapek was the youngest of three siblings...

's "War With the Newts" was considered too offensive to the German government, and he declined to suggest a non-controversial publication that could be cited in its stead ("Thank you for the good will, but I have already written my doctoral dissertation"). He never received a prize.

French novelist and intellectual André Malraux
André Malraux
André Malraux DSO was a French adventurer, award-winning author, and statesman. Having traveled extensively in Indochina and China, Malraux was noted especially for his novel entitled La Condition Humaine , which won the Prix Goncourt...

 was considered for the Literature prize in the 1950s, according to Swedish Academy
Swedish Academy
The Swedish Academy , founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden.-History:The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III. Modelled after the Académie française, it has 18 members. The motto of the Academy is "Talent and Taste"...

 archives studied by newspaper Le Monde
Le Monde
Le Monde is a French daily evening newspaper owned by La Vie-Le Monde Group and edited in Paris. It is one of two French newspapers of record, and has generally been well respected since its first edition under founder Hubert Beuve-Méry on 19 December 1944...

on their opening in 2008. Malraux was competing with Albert Camus
Albert Camus
Albert Camus was a French author, journalist, and key philosopher of the 20th century. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was opposed to some tendencies of the Surrealist movement of André Breton.Camus was awarded the 1957...

, but was rejected several times, especially in 1954 and 1955, "so long as he does not come back to novel", while Camus won the prize in 1957.

W. H. Auden
W. H. Auden
Wystan Hugh Auden , who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet,The first definition of "Anglo-American" in the OED is: "Of, belonging to, or involving both England and America." See also the definition "English in origin or birth, American by settlement or citizenship" in See also...

's missing prize was attributed to errors in his translation of 1961 Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 winner Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. An early Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. Hammarskjöld...

's Vägmärken (Markings) and to statements that Auden made during a Scandinavian lecture tour suggesting that Hammarskjöld was, like Auden, homosexual.

Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo , known as Jorge Luis Borges , was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school, receiving his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The family...

 was nominated several times but never won. Edwin Williamson, Borges's biographer, stated that the author's support of Argentine and Chilean right-wing military dictators. Borges' failure to win the Nobel Prize contrasts with awards to writers who openly supported left-wing dictatorships, including Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, in the case of Jean Paul Sartre and Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda....

.

The academy's refusal to express support for Salman Rushdie in 1989, after Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

 issued a fatwā
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

 on his life led two Academy members to resign.

Peace


Nobel Peace Prize controversies often reach beyond the academic community that surrounds them. Awards have been called politically motivated, premature, or guided by a faulty definition of what constitutes work for peace.

The 2010 prize
2010 Nobel Peace Prize
The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to imprisoned Chinese human rights activist "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China"...

went to Liu Xiaobo
Liu Xiaobo
Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule in China...

 "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". Liu was imprisoned at the time of the award and neither he nor his family were allowed to attend the ceremony. The Chinese government alleged that Liu did not promote "international friendship, disarmament, and peace meetings", the prize's stated goal. Further, Liu Xiabo participated in organizations that received funding from the American National Endowment for Democracy
National Endowment for Democracy
The National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is a U.S. non-profit organization that was founded in 1983 to promote US-friendly democracy by providing cash grants funded primarily through an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress...

, which claim brings his status, and in fact the Nobel Peace Prize, into question. Chinese groups also criticized Liu's selection due to his low profile and obscurity within China and among Chinese youth. In the west, Tariq Ali
Tariq Ali
Tariq Ali , , is a British Pakistani military historian, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, public intellectual, political campaigner, activist, and commentator...

, Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong critized Liu's selection due to his long support of American invasions of other nations, particularly Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. Liu's selection was also criticized due to his support of the George W Bush administration in the United States and the Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 government in Israel and his ideological alignment with the neoconservative movement. The Chinese government responded by creating a rival award—the Confucius Peace Prize
Confucius Peace Prize
The Confucius Peace Prize is a prize of the People's Republic of China established in 2010 in response to a proposal by business person Liu Zhiqin on November 17, 2010, although members of the award committee said the prize had been around much longer...

.

The 2009 prize
2009 Nobel Peace Prize
The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to U.S. President Barack Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people." The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the award on October 9, 2009, citing Obama's promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and...

was awarded to Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". The award, given in the first year of Obama's presidency, received criticism that it was undeserved, premature and politically motivated. Obama himself said that he felt "surprised" by the win and did not consider himself worthy of the award, but nonetheless accepted it. Obama's peace prize was called a "stunning surprise" by The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

. Much of the surprise arose from the fact that nominations for the award had been due by 1 February 2009, only 12 days after Obama took office. In an October 2011 interview. Thorbjørn Jagland
Thorbjørn Jagland
is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party, currently serving as the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe...

, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, defended the award on narrow grounds:
[President Obama] "paved the way for new negotiations with the Russian Federation about nuclear arms. If you look at the will of Alfred Nobel that goes directly to what he said that the prize should go to the person that has worked for—he called it reduction of standing armies
Standing army
A standing army is a professional permanent army. It is composed of full-time career soldiers and is not disbanded during times of peace. It differs from army reserves, who are activated only during wars or natural disasters...

 but in today's terms it means arm control and disarmament."


The 2007 prize went to Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 and the IPCC
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides comprehensive assessments of current scientific, technical and socio-economic information worldwide about the risk of climate change caused by human activity, its potential environmental and...

, "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change". The award received criticism on the grounds of political motivation and because the winners' work was not directly related to ending conflict. Al Gore's victory over prize candidate Irena Sendler
Irena Sendler
Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic social worker who served in the Polish Underground and the Żegota resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw during World War II...

, a Polish social worker known as the "female Oskar Schindler
Oskar Schindler
Oskar Schindler was an ethnic German industrialist born in Moravia. He is credited with saving over 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories, which were located in what is now Poland and the Czech Republic respectively.He is the subject of the...

" for her efforts to save Jewish children during the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

, attracted criticism from the humanitarian agency International Federation of Social Workers
International Federation of Social Workers
The International Federation of Social Workers is an international professional organization for social workers. The society consists of 84 national chapters, divided into five regional groups, and has over 480,000 members...

 (IFSW).

The 2004 prize went to Wangari Maathai
Wangari Maathai
Wangari Muta Mary Jo Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya...

 "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace". Controversially, she was reported by the Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

n newspaper Standard
The Standard (Kenya)
The Standard is one of the leading newspapers in Kenya with a 20% market share. It is the oldest newspaper in the country owned by The Standard Group, which also runs the Kenya Television Network . The Standard Group is headquartered at the I&M Bank Tower in Nairobi.- History :The newspaper was...

 and Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a broadcaster funded by the U.S. Congress that provides news, information, and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East "where the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed"...

 to have stated that HIV/AIDS was originally developed by Western scientists in order to depopulate Africa. She later denied these claims, although the Standard stood by its reporting. Additionally, in a Time magazine interview, she hinted at HIV's non-natural origin, saying that someone knows where it came from and that it "...did not come from monkeys."

The 2002 prize was awarded to Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 for "decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." The announcement of the award came shortly after the US House and Senate authorized President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 to use military force against Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 in order to enforce UN Security Council resolutions requiring that Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 give up weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

. Asked if the selection of the former president was a criticism of Bush, Gunnar Berge
Gunnar Berge
Gunnar Berge is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party, born in Etne, Hordaland. Berge represented Rogaland in the Norwegian Parliament from 1969 to 1993. He was Minister of Finance 1986-1989, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development 1992-1996, as well as minister of Nordic...

, head of the Nobel Prize committee, said: "With the position Carter has taken on this, it can and must also be seen as criticism of the line the current US administration has taken on Iraq." Carter declined to comment on the remark in interviews, saying that he preferred to focus on the work of the Carter Center
Carter Center
The Carter Center is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter. In partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center works to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering...

.

The 1994 prize went to Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

, Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

, and Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

 "to honour a political act which called for great courage on both sides, and which has opened up opportunities for a new development towards fraternity in the Middle East.". Arafat's critics have referred to him as an "unrepentant terrorist with a long legacy of promoting violence". Kåre Kristiansen
Kåre Kristiansen
Kåre Gudbrand Kristiansen was a Norwegian politician active in the Christian People's Party. Noted as a conservative within his own party, he was known to take controversial positions at odds with the prevailing consensus.Kristiansen was born in Bergen, the son of a lay preacher. Both his parents...

, a Norwegian member of the Nobel Committee, resigned in protest at Arafat's award, calling him a "terrorist". Supporters of Arafat claimed fairness, citing Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

, who had never renounced political violence, and had been a founder member of Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe , translated "Spear of the Nation," was the armed wing of the African National Congress which fought against the South African apartheid government. MK launched its first guerrilla attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961...

. On the other hand, Edward Said
Edward Said
Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

 was critical of Peres and Rabin and the entire Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

.

The 1992 prize was awarded to Rigoberta Menchú
Rigoberta Menchú
Rigoberta Menchú Tum is an indigenous Guatemalan, of the K'iche' ethnic group. Menchú has dedicated her life to publicizing the plight of Guatemala's indigenous peoples during and after the Guatemalan Civil War , and to promoting indigenous rights in the country...

 for "her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples". The prize-winner's memoirs, which had brought her to fame, turned out to be partly fictitious.

The 1989 prize was awarded to the 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

. This was not well-accepted by the Chinese government, which cited his separatist tendencies. Additionally, the Nobel Prize Committee cited their intention to put pressure on China.

The 1978 prize went to Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

, president of Egypt during the 1973 Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 against Israel, and Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 "for the Camp David Agreement
Camp David Accords
The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States...

, which brought about a negotiated peace between Egypt and Israel". Both had fought against British rule of their respective countries, and Begin was involved in a failed plot to assassinate German chancellor Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

.

The 1973 prize went to North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho
Le Duc Tho
Lê Đức Thọ , born Phan Đình Khải in Ha Nam province, was a Vietnamese revolutionary, general, diplomat, and politician, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1973, although he declined it....

 and United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 Henry A. Kissinger "for the 1973 Paris Peace Accords
Paris Peace Accords
The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 intended to establish peace in Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam War, ended direct U.S. military involvement, and temporarily stopped the fighting between North and South Vietnam...

 intended to bring about a cease-fire in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 and a withdrawal of the American forces". Tho later declined the prize. North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 in April 1975 and reunified the country. Kissinger's history included the secret 1969–1975 bombing campaign against North Vietnamese Army troops infiltrating the South via Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, the alleged U.S. involvement in Operation Condor
Operation Condor
Operation Condor , was a campaign of political repression involving assassination and intelligence operations officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America...

—a mid-1970s campaign of kidnapping and murder coordinated among the intelligence and security services of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile (see details), Paraguay, and Uruguay—as well as the death of French nationals under the Chilean junta. He also supported the Turkish Intervention in Cyprus resulting in the de facto partition of the island. According to Irwin Abrams
Irwin Abrams
Irwin Martin Abrams was a long-time professor of history at Antioch College, a pioneer in the field of peace research, and a global authority on the Nobel Peace Prize...

, this prize was the most controversial to date. Two Norwegian Nobel Committee members resigned in protest. When the award was announced, hostilities were continuing.

The 1945 prize was awarded to Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best known as the longest-serving Secretary of State, holding the position for 11 years in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during much of World War II...

 as "Former Secretary of State; Prominent participant in the originating of the UN". Hull was Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 during the SS St. Louis
SS St. Louis
The MS St. Louis was a German ocean liner most notable for a single voyage in 1939, in which her captain, Gustav Schröder, tried to find homes for 937 German Jewish refugees after they were denied entry to Cuba. The event was the subject of a 1974 book, Voyage of the Damned, by Gordon Thomas and...

 Crisis. The St. Louis sailed from Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 in the summer of 1939 carrying over 950 Jewish refugees
Jewish refugees
In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

, seeking asylum from Nazi persecution. Initially, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt showed some willingness to take in some of those on board, but Hull and Southern Democrats voiced vehement opposition, and some of them threatened to withhold their support of Roosevelt in the 1940 election. On 4 June 1939 Roosevelt denied entry to the ship, which was waiting in the Caribbean Sea between Florida and Cuba. The passengers began negotiations with the Cuban government, but those broke down. Forced to return to Europe, over a quarter of its passengers subsequently died in the Holocaust.
Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize, although he was nominated five times between 1937 and 1948. A decades-later Nobel Committee publicly declared its regret for the omission. Geir Lundestad, Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee in 2006 said, "The greatest omission in our 106 year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace prize. Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace prize, whether Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question". The Nobel Committee of the time may have tacitly acknowledged its error, however, when in 1948 (the year of his death), it made no award, stating "there was no suitable living candidate". A later committee awarded the prize posthumously to Scandinavian Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. An early Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. Hammarskjöld...

 in 1961, who died after being nominated.

Physics


The progress in the search for the Higgs boson
Higgs boson
The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive elementary particle that is predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics. Its existence is postulated as a means of resolving inconsistencies in the Standard Model...

 led to a dispute on who should get credit for the discovery and the resulting Physics Prize. Six people, across three different teams, were credited with the most significant contributions to this work: Robert Brout
Robert Brout
Robert Brout was an American-Belgian theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions in elementary particle physics...

 and François Englert
François Englert
François Englert is a Belgian theoretical physicist. He was awarded the 2010 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics , the Wolf Prize in Physics in 2004 and the High Energy and Particle Prize of the European Physical Society François Englert (born 6 November 1932) is a...

 of the Université Libre de Bruxelles
Université Libre de Bruxelles
The Université libre de Bruxelles is a French-speaking university in Brussels, Belgium. It has 21,000 students, 29% of whom come from abroad, and an equally cosmopolitan staff.-Name:...

; Peter Higgs
Peter Higgs
Peter Ware Higgs, FRS, FRSE, FKC , is an English theoretical physicist and an emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh....

 of University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

; and G. S. Guralnik at Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

, C. R. Hagen
C. R. Hagen
Carl Richard Hagen is a professor of particle physics at the University of Rochester. He is most noted for his contributions to the Standard Model and Symmetry breaking as well as the co-discovery of the Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson with Gerald Guralnik and Tom Kibble...

 of the University of Rochester
University of Rochester
The University of Rochester is a private, nonsectarian, research university in Rochester, New York, United States. The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral and professional degrees. The university has six schools and various interdisciplinary programs.The...

, and Tom Kibble at Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

. Three papers written in 1964 explained what is now known as the "Englert-Brout-Higgs-Guralnik-Hagen-Kibble mechanism" (or Higgs mechanism
Higgs mechanism
In particle physics, the Higgs mechanism is the process in which gauge bosons in a gauge theory can acquire non-vanishing masses through absorption of Nambu-Goldstone bosons arising in spontaneous symmetry breaking....

 and Higgs boson
Higgs boson
The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive elementary particle that is predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics. Its existence is postulated as a means of resolving inconsistencies in the Standard Model...

 for short). The mechanism was the key element of the electroweak theory that formed part of the Standard model
Standard Model
The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory concerning the electromagnetic, weak, and strong nuclear interactions, which mediate the dynamics of the known subatomic particles. Developed throughout the mid to late 20th century, the current formulation was finalized in the mid 1970s upon...

 of particle physics
Particle physics
Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the existence and interactions of particles that are the constituents of what is usually referred to as matter or radiation. In current understanding, particles are excitations of quantum fields and interact following their dynamics...

. The papers that introduced this mechanism were published in Physical Review Letters
Physical Review Letters
Physical Review Letters , established in 1958, is a peer reviewed, scientific journal that is published 52 times per year by the American Physical Society...

 in 1964 and were each recognized as milestones during PRL’s 50th anniversary celebration. All six won The American Physical Society's
American Physical Society
The American Physical Society is the world's second largest organization of physicists, behind the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the world renowned Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than 20...

 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics
Sakurai Prize
The J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics, is presented by the American Physical Society at its annual "April Meeting", and honors outstanding achievement in particle physics theory...

 for "elucidation of the properties of spontaneous symmetry breaking
Symmetry breaking
Symmetry breaking in physics describes a phenomenon where small fluctuations acting on a system which is crossing a critical point decide the system's fate, by determining which branch of a bifurcation is taken. To an outside observer unaware of the fluctuations , the choice will appear arbitrary...

 in four-dimensional relativistic gauge theory
Gauge theory
In physics, gauge invariance is the property of a field theory in which different configurations of the underlying fundamental but unobservable fields result in identical observable quantities. A theory with such a property is called a gauge theory...

 and of the mechanism for the consistent generation of vector boson
Vector boson
In particle physics, a vector boson is a boson with the spin quantum number equal to 1.The vector bosons considered to be elementary particles in the Standard Model are the gauge bosons or, the force carriers of fundamental interactions: the photon of electromagnetism, the W and Z bosons of the...

 masses"


The 2009 prize was awarded to Willard Boyle
Willard Boyle
Willard Sterling Boyle, was a Canadian physicist and co-inventor of the charge-coupled device. On October 6, 2009, it was announced that he would share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor".-Life:Born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, he...

 and George E. Smith
George E. Smith
George Elwood Smith is an American scientist, applied physicist, and co-inventor of the charge-coupled device. He was awarded a one-quarter share in the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor".Smith was born in White Plains, New York...

 for developing the CCD
Charge-coupled device
A charge-coupled device is a device for the movement of electrical charge, usually from within the device to an area where the charge can be manipulated, for example conversion into a digital value. This is achieved by "shifting" the signals between stages within the device one at a time...

. However, Eugene I. Gordon
Eugene I. Gordon
Eugene I. Gordon is an American physicist. He was Director of the Lightwave Devices Laboratory of Bell Labs-Honors and awards:* IEEE Edison Medal in 1984* member, National Academy of Engineering in 1978...

 and Michael Francis Tompsett
Michael Francis Tompsett
Michael Francis Tompsett is a British born physicist and former researcher at English Electric Valve Company, who later moved to Bell Labs in America. He is best known as the inventor of Charge-Coupled Device Imagers used for imaging in devices such as digital cameras. Tompsett designed and...

 claimed that it should have been theirs for figuring out that the technology could be used for imaging.

Half of the 2008 prize was awarded to Makoto Kobayashi
Makoto Kobayashi (physicist)
is a Japanese physicist known for his work on CP-violation who was awarded one quarter of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature."- Biography :After completing his PhD at...

 and Toshihide Maskawa
Toshihide Maskawa
is a Japanese theoretical physicist known for his work on CP-violation who was awarded one quarter of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature."-Biography:A native of Aichi...

 for their 1972 work on quark
Quark
A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly...

 mixing. This postulated the existence of three additional quarks beyond the three then known to exist and used this postulate to provide a possible mechanism for CP violation
CP violation
In particle physics, CP violation is a violation of the postulated CP-symmetry: the combination of C-symmetry and P-symmetry . CP-symmetry states that the laws of physics should be the same if a particle were interchanged with its antiparticle , and left and right were swapped...

, which had been observed 8 years earlier. Their work expanded and reinterpreted research by Nicola Cabibbo
Nicola Cabibbo
Nicola Cabibbo was an Italian physicist, best known for his work on the weak interaction. He was also the president of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics from 1983 to 1992, and from 1993 until his death he was the president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences...

, dating to 1963, before the quark model was even introduced. The resulting quark mixing matrix, which described probabilities of different quarks to turn into each other under the action of the weak force, is known as CKM matrix, after Cabibbo, Kobayashi, and Maskawa. Cabibbo arguably merited a share of the award. Possibly, the Committee wanted to recognize Yoichiro Nambu
Yoichiro Nambu
is a Japanese-born American physicist, currently a professor at the University of Chicago. Known for his contributions to the field of theoretical physics, he was awarded a one-half share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008 for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in...

, the other recipient of the 2008 prize, who was 87 at the time. Since the prize is awarded to at most three people, the committee was forced to choose only two of the CKM researchers.

The 2006 prize was won by John C. Mather
John C. Mather
John Cromwell Mather is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite with George Smoot. COBE was the first experiment to measure ".....

 and George F. Smoot (leaders of the COsmic Background Explorer (COBE
COBE
The COsmic Background Explorer , also referred to as Explorer 66, was a satellite dedicated to cosmology. Its goals were to investigate the cosmic microwave background radiation of the universe and provide measurements that would help shape our understanding of the cosmos.This work provided...

) satellite experiment) for "the blackbody form and anisotropy
Anisotropy
Anisotropy is the property of being directionally dependent, as opposed to isotropy, which implies identical properties in all directions. It can be defined as a difference, when measured along different axes, in a material's physical or mechanical properties An example of anisotropy is the light...

 of the cosmic microwave background radiation
Cosmic microwave background radiation
In cosmology, cosmic microwave background radiation is thermal radiation filling the observable universe almost uniformly....

 (CMBR)." However, in July 1983 an experiment launched aboard the Prognoz-9 satellite, studied CMBR via a single frequency. In January 1992, Andrei A. Brukhanov presented a seminar at Sternberg Astronomical Institute
Sternberg Astronomical Institute
The Sternberg Astronomical Institute , also known as GAISh , is a research institution in Moscow, Russia, a division of Moscow State University. The institute is named after astronomer Pavel Karlovich Shternberg.The asteroid 14789 GAISH was named in its honour.-External links:*...

 in Moscow, where he first reported on the discovery. However, the Relikt team claimed only an upper limit, not a detection, in their 1987 paper.

Half of the 2005 prize was awarded to Roy J. Glauber
Roy J. Glauber
Roy Jay Glauber is an American theoretical physicist. He is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University and Adjunct Professor of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona...

 "for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence". This research involved George Sudarshan
George Sudarshan
Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan , also E.C.G. Sudarshan, is a prominent Indian American physicist, author, and professor at The University of Texas at Austin.-Early life:...

's relevant 1960 work in quantum optics
Quantum optics
Quantum optics is a field of research in physics, dealing with the application of quantum mechanics to phenomena involving light and its interactions with matter.- History of quantum optics :...

, which was allegedly slighted in this award. Glauber—who initially derided the former representations, later produced the same P-representation
Glauber P representation
The Glauber-Sudarshan P-representation is a way of writing down the state of any type of light using the coherent states as a basis. It was developed by George Sudarshan and later adopted by Roy J. Glauber...

 under a different name, viz., Sudarshan-Glauber representation or Sudarshan diagonal representation—was the winner instead. According to others, the deserving Leonard Mandel
Leonard Mandel
Leonard Mandel was the Lee DuBridge Professor Emeritus of Physics and Optics at the University of Rochester when he died at the age of 73 at his home in Pittsford, New York. He contributed immensely to theoretical and experimental optics...

 and Daniel Frank Walls
Daniel Frank Walls
Daniel Walls was a theoretical physicist specialising in quantum optics.Dan Walls gained a BSc in physics and mathematics and a first class honours MSc in physics at the University of Auckland. He then went to Harvard as a Fulbright Scholar, obtaining his PhD in 1969, under Roy J. Glauber...

 were passed over because posthumous nominations were not accepted.


The 2001 prize went to Eric Allin Cornell
Eric Allin Cornell
Eric Allin Cornell is an American physicist who, along with Carl E. Wieman, was able to synthesize the first Bose–Einstein condensate in 1995...

, Carl Edwin Wieman and Wolfgang Ketterle
Wolfgang Ketterle
Wolfgang Ketterle is a German physicist and professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . His research has focused on experiments that trap and cool atoms to temperatures close to absolute zero, and he led one of the first groups to realize Bose-Einstein condensation in these...

 "for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates". However, the original work by Indian mathematician and physicist Satyendra Nath Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose FRS was an Indian mathematician and physicist noted for his collaboration with Albert Einstein in developing a theory regarding the gaslike qualities of electromagnetic radiation. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation...

 and Albert Einstein regarding the gas-like qualities of electromagnetic radiation and quantum mechanics in the early 1920s provided the foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics
Bose–Einstein statistics
In statistical mechanics, Bose–Einstein statistics determines the statistical distribution of identical indistinguishable bosons over the energy states in thermal equilibrium.-Concept:...

 and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate
Bose–Einstein condensate
A Bose–Einstein condensate is a state of matter of a dilute gas of weakly interacting bosons confined in an external potential and cooled to temperatures very near absolute zero . Under such conditions, a large fraction of the bosons occupy the lowest quantum state of the external potential, at...

 was never awarded the prize.

The 1997 prize was awarded to Steven Chu
Steven Chu
Steven Chu is an American physicist and the 12th United States Secretary of Energy. Chu is known for his research at Bell Labs in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, along with his scientific colleagues Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and...

, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji is a French physicist and Nobel Laureate. He shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with Steven Chu and William Daniel Phillips for research in methods of laser cooling and trapping atoms...

 and William Daniel Phillips
William Daniel Phillips
William Daniel Phillips is an American physicist and shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1997 with Steven Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji. He is of Italian and Welsh descent.-Biography:...

 "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light." The award was disputed by Russian scientists who questioned the awardees' priority in the acquired approach and techniques, which the Russians claimed to have carried out more than a decade before.

The 1983 prize went to William Alfred Fowler
William Alfred Fowler
William Alfred "Willy" Fowler was an American astrophysicist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983. He should not be confused with the British astronomer Alfred Fowler....

 "for his theoretical and experimental studies of the nuclear reactions of importance in the formation of the chemical elements in the universe". Fowler acknowledged Fred Hoyle
Fred Hoyle
Sir Fred Hoyle FRS was an English astronomer and mathematician noted primarily for his contribution to the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis and his often controversial stance on other cosmological and scientific matters—in particular his rejection of the "Big Bang" theory, a term originally...

 as the pioneer of the concept of stellar nucleosynthesis
Stellar nucleosynthesis
Stellar nucleosynthesis is the collective term for the nuclear reactions taking place in stars to build the nuclei of the elements heavier than hydrogen. Some small quantity of these reactions also occur on the stellar surface under various circumstances...

 but that was not enough for Hoyle to receive a share. Hoyle's obituary in Physics Today
Physics Today
Physics Today, created in 1948, is the membership journal of the American Institute of Physics. It is provided to 130,000 members of twelve physics societies, including the American Physical Society...

notes that "Many of us felt that Hoyle should have shared Fowler's 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics, but the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences later made partial amends by awarding Hoyle, with Edwin Salpeter, its 1997 Crafoord Prize
Crafoord Prize
The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger Crafoord, a Swedish industrialist, and his wife Anna-Greta Crafoord...

".

The 1979 prize was awarded to Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam
Abdus Salam
Mohammad Abdus Salam, NI, SPk Mohammad Abdus Salam, NI, SPk Mohammad Abdus Salam, NI, SPk (Urdu: محمد عبد السلام, pronounced , (January 29, 1926– November 21, 1996) was a Pakistani theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his work on the electroweak unification of the...

 and Steven Weinberg
Steven Weinberg
Steven Weinberg is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his contributions with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles....

 for the electroweak interaction unification theory. However, George Sudarshan
George Sudarshan
Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan , also E.C.G. Sudarshan, is a prominent Indian American physicist, author, and professor at The University of Texas at Austin.-Early life:...

 and Robert Marshak
Robert Marshak
Robert Eugene Marshak was an American physicist dedicated to learning, research, and education.-History:...

 were the first proponents of the successful V-A (vector minus axial vector, or left-handed) theory for weak interactions in 1957. It was essentially the same theory as that proposed by Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman
Richard Phillips Feynman was an American physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics...

 and Murray Gell-Mann
Murray Gell-Mann
Murray Gell-Mann is an American physicist and linguist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles...

 in their "mathematical physics" paper on the structure of the weak interaction
Weak interaction
Weak interaction , is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, alongside the strong nuclear force, electromagnetism, and gravity. It is responsible for the radioactive decay of subatomic particles and initiates the process known as hydrogen fusion in stars...

. Actually, Gell-Mann had been let in on the Sudarshan/Marshak work on Sudarshan's initiative, but no acknowledgment appeared in the later paper—except for an informal allusion. The reason given was that the originators' work had not been published in a formal or 'reputable enough' science journal at the time. The theory is popularly known in the west as the Feynman-Gell-Mann theory. The V-A theory for weak interactions was, in effect, a new Law of Nature. It was conceived in the face of a series of apparently contradictory experimental results, including several from Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese-American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project...

, helped along by a sprinkling of other evidence, such as the muon
Muon
The muon |mu]] used to represent it) is an elementary particle similar to the electron, with a unitary negative electric charge and a spin of ½. Together with the electron, the tau, and the three neutrinos, it is classified as a lepton...

. Discovered in 1936, the muon had a colorful history itself and would lead to a new revolution in the 21st Century. This breakthrough was not awarded a Nobel Prize. The V-A theory would later form the foundation for the electroweak interaction
Electroweak interaction
In particle physics, the electroweak interaction is the unified description of two of the four known fundamental interactions of nature: electromagnetism and the weak interaction. Although these two forces appear very different at everyday low energies, the theory models them as two different...

 theory. Sudarshan regarded the V-A theory as his finest work. The Sudarshan-Marshak (or V-A theory) was assessed, preferably and favorably, as "beautiful" by J. Robert Oppenheimer, only to be disparaged later on as "less complete" and "inelegant" by John Gribbin
John Gribbin
John R. Gribbin is a British science writer and a visiting Fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex.- Biography :John Gribbin graduated with his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Sussex in 1966. Gribbin then earned his master of science degree in astronomy in 1967, also...

.

The 1978 prize was awarded for the chanced "detection of Cosmic microwave background radiation
Cosmic microwave background radiation
In cosmology, cosmic microwave background radiation is thermal radiation filling the observable universe almost uniformly....

". The joint winners, Arno Allan Penzias
Arno Allan Penzias
Arno Allan Penzias is an American physicist and Nobel laureate in physics.-Early life and education:Penzias was born in Munich, Germany. At age six he was among the Jewish children evacuated to Britain as part of the Kindertransport rescue operation...

 and Robert Woodrow Wilson
Robert Woodrow Wilson
For the American President, see Woodrow Wilson.Robert Woodrow Wilson is an American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation...

, had their discovery elucidated by others. Many scientists felt that Ralph Alpher, who predicted the cosmic microwave background radiation and in 1948 worked out the underpinnings of the Big Bang theory, should have shared in the prize or received one independently. In 2005, Alpher received the National Medal of Science
National Medal of Science
The National Medal of Science is an honor bestowed by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and...

 for his pioneering contributions to understanding of nucleosynthesis
Nucleosynthesis
Nucleosynthesis is the process of creating new atomic nuclei from pre-existing nucleons . It is thought that the primordial nucleons themselves were formed from the quark–gluon plasma from the Big Bang as it cooled below two trillion degrees...

, the prediction of the relic radiation from the Big Bang, as well as for a model for the Big Bang.

The 1974 prize was awarded to Martin Ryle
Martin Ryle
Sir Martin Ryle was an English radio astronomer who developed revolutionary radio telescope systems and used them for accurate location and imaging of weak radio sources...

 and Antony Hewish
Antony Hewish
Antony Hewish FRS is a British radio astronomer who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1974 for his work on the development of radio aperture synthesis and its role in the discovery of pulsars...

 "for their pioneering research in radio astrophysics: Ryle for his observations and inventions, in particular of the aperture synthesis
Aperture synthesis
Aperture synthesis or synthesis imaging is a type of interferometry that mixes signals from a collection of telescopes to produce images having the same angular resolution as an instrument the size of the entire collection...

 technique, and Hewish for his decisive role in the discovery of pulsar
Pulsar
A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing towards the Earth. This is called the lighthouse effect and gives rise to the pulsed nature that gives pulsars their name...

s". Hewish was not the first to correctly explain pulsars, initially describing them as communications from "Little Green Men" (LGM-1
LGM-1
Little green men 1 was the explanation given to a certain astronomical observation. In 1967, a radio signal was detected in a UK observatory by Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish. The signal had a 1.3373 second period and 0.04 second pulsewidth. It originated at celestial coordinates 19:19 right...

) in outer space. David Staelin and Edward Reifenstein, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, found a pulsar at the center of the Crab Nebula
Crab Nebula
The Crab Nebula  is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus...

. The notion that pulsars were neutron star
Neutron star
A neutron star is a type of stellar remnant that can result from the gravitational collapse of a massive star during a Type II, Type Ib or Type Ic supernova event. Such stars are composed almost entirely of neutrons, which are subatomic particles without electrical charge and with a slightly larger...

s, leftovers from a supernova
Supernova
A supernova is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. It is pronounced with the plural supernovae or supernovas. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months...

 explosion, had been proposed in 1933. Soon after their 1968 discovery, Fred Hoyle
Fred Hoyle
Sir Fred Hoyle FRS was an English astronomer and mathematician noted primarily for his contribution to the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis and his often controversial stance on other cosmological and scientific matters—in particular his rejection of the "Big Bang" theory, a term originally...

 and astronomer Thomas Gold
Thomas Gold
Thomas Gold was an Austrian-born astrophysicist, a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Society . Gold was one of three young Cambridge scientists who in the 1950s proposed the now mostly abandoned 'steady...

 correctly explained it as a rapidly spinning neutron star with a strong magnetic field, emitting radio waves. Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, DBE, FRS, FRAS , is a British astrophysicist. As a postgraduate student she discovered the first radio pulsars with her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish. She was president of the Institute of Physics from October 2008 until October 2010, and was interim president...

, Hewish's graduate student, was not recognized, although she was the first to notice the stellar radio source that was later recognized as a pulsar. While Hoyle argued that Bell should have been included in the prize, Bell said, "I believe it would demean Nobel Prizes if they were awarded to research students, except in very exceptional cases, and I do not believe this is one of them." Prize-winning research students include Louis de Broglie, Rudolf Mössbauer, Douglas Osheroff, Gerard 't Hooft, John Forbes Nash
John Forbes Nash
John Forbes Nash, Jr. is an American mathematician whose works in game theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations have provided insight into the forces that govern chance and events inside complex systems in daily life...

, Jr., John Robert Schrieffer
John Robert Schrieffer
John Robert Schrieffer is an American physicist and, with John Bardeen and Leon N Cooper, recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize for Physics for developing the BCS theory, the first successful microscopic theory of superconductivity.-Biography:...

 and H. David Politzer.

The 1969 prize was won by Murray Gell-Mann
Murray Gell-Mann
Murray Gell-Mann is an American physicist and linguist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles...

 "for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions" (essentially, discovering quark
Quark
A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly...

s). George Zweig
George Zweig
George Zweig was originally trained as a particle physicist under Richard Feynman and later turned his attention to neurobiology...

, then a PhD student at Caltech, independently espoused the physical existence of aces, essentially the same thing. The physics community ostracized Zweig and blocked his career. Israeli physicist Yuval Ne'eman
Yuval Ne'eman
Yuval Ne'eman , was a renowned Israeli theoretical physicist, military scientist, and politician. He was a minister in the Israeli government in the 1980s and early 1990s.-Biography:...

 published the classification of hadron
Hadron
In particle physics, a hadron is a composite particle made of quarks held together by the strong force...

s through their SU(3) flavor symmetry
Flavour (particle physics)
In particle physics, flavour or flavor is a quantum number of elementary particles. In quantum chromodynamics, flavour is a global symmetry...

 independently of Gell-Mann in 1962, and also felt that he had been unjustly deprived of the prize for the quark model
Quark model
In physics, the quark model is a classification scheme for hadrons in terms of their valence quarks—the quarks and antiquarks which give rise to the quantum numbers of the hadrons....

.

The 1956 prize went to John Bardeen
John Bardeen
John Bardeen was an American physicist and electrical engineer, the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the invention of the transistor; and again in 1972 with Leon Neil Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a...

, Walter Houser Brattain
Walter Houser Brattain
Walter Houser Brattain was an American physicist at Bell Labs who, along with John Bardeen and William Shockley, invented the transistor. They shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention. He devoted much of his life to research on surface states.- Early life and education :He was...

 and William Bradford Shockley "for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect". However, the committee did not recognize numerous preceding ]patent applications. As early as 1928, Julius Edgar Lilienfeld
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld was an Austro-Hungarian physicist. He was born in Lemberg in Austria-Hungary , moved to the United States in the early 1920s, and became American citizen in 1934...

 patented several modern transistor
Transistor
A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and power. It is composed of a semiconductor material with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals changes the current...

 types. In 1934, Oskar Heil
Oskar Heil
Oskar Heil was a German electrical engineer and inventor. He studied physics, chemistry, mathematics, and music at the Georg-August University of Göttingen and was awarded his PhD in 1933, for his work on molecular spectroscopy.-Personal life:At the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Oskar Heil...

 patented a field-effect transistor
Field-effect transistor
The field-effect transistor is a transistor that relies on an electric field to control the shape and hence the conductivity of a channel of one type of charge carrier in a semiconductor material. FETs are sometimes called unipolar transistors to contrast their single-carrier-type operation with...

. It is unclear whether Lilienfeld or Heil had built such devices, but they did cause later workers significant patent problems. Further, Herbert F. Mataré and Heinrich Walker, at Westinghouse
Westinghouse
Westinghouse may refer to:In current companies:*Westinghouse Licensing, the brand management division of CBS Corporation, and its licensees:**Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, providing nuclear power related services....

 Paris, applied for a patent in 1948 of an amplifier
Amplifier
Generally, an amplifier or simply amp, is a device for increasing the power of a signal.In popular use, the term usually describes an electronic amplifier, in which the input "signal" is usually a voltage or a current. In audio applications, amplifiers drive the loudspeakers used in PA systems to...

 based on the minority carrier injection process. Mataré had first observed transconductance effects during the manufacture of germanium
Germanium
Germanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ge and atomic number 32. It is a lustrous, hard, grayish-white metalloid in the carbon group, chemically similar to its group neighbors tin and silicon. The isolated element is a semiconductor, with an appearance most similar to elemental silicon....

 diodes for German radar equipment during World War II. Shockley was part of other controversies—including his position as a corporate director and his self-promotion efforts. Further, the original design Shockley presented to Brattain and Bardeen did not work. His share of the prize resulted from his development of the superior junction transistor
Bipolar junction transistor
|- align = "center"| || PNP|- align = "center"| || NPNA bipolar transistor is a three-terminal electronic device constructed of doped semiconductor material and may be used in amplifying or switching applications. Bipolar transistors are so named because their operation involves both electrons...

, which became the basis of the electronics revolution. He excluded Brattain and Bardeen from the proceeds of this process, even though the idea may have been theirs. Another controversy associated with Shockley was his support of eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

. He regarded his published works on this topic as the most important work of his career.

The 1950 prize went to Cecil Powell for "his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and his discoveries regarding meson
Meson
In particle physics, mesons are subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark, bound together by the strong interaction. Because mesons are composed of sub-particles, they have a physical size, with a radius roughly one femtometer: 10−15 m, which is about the size of a proton...

s made with this method". However, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian physicist César Lattes
César Lattes
Cesare Mansueto Giulio Lattes , also known as Cesar Lattes, was a Brazilian experimental physicist, one of the discoverers of the pion, a composite subatomic particle made of a quark and an antiquark.-Life:Lattes was born to a family of Italian Jewish immigrants in Curitiba, Southern Brazil...

 was the main researcher and the first author of the historical Nature
Nature (journal)
Nature, first published on 4 November 1869, is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports...

journal article describing the subatomic particle
Subatomic particle
In physics or chemistry, subatomic particles are the smaller particles composing nucleons and atoms. There are two types of subatomic particles: elementary particles, which are not made of other particles, and composite particles...

 meson
Meson
In particle physics, mesons are subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark, bound together by the strong interaction. Because mesons are composed of sub-particles, they have a physical size, with a radius roughly one femtometer: 10−15 m, which is about the size of a proton...

 pi (pion
Pion
In particle physics, a pion is any of three subatomic particles: , , and . Pions are the lightest mesons and they play an important role in explaining the low-energy properties of the strong nuclear force....

). Lattes was solely responsible for the improvement of the nuclear emulsion used by Powell (by asking Kodak Co. to add more boron
Boron
Boron is the chemical element with atomic number 5 and the chemical symbol B. Boron is a metalloid. Because boron is not produced by stellar nucleosynthesis, it is a low-abundance element in both the solar system and the Earth's crust. However, boron is concentrated on Earth by the...

 to it—and in 1947, he made with them his great experimental discovery). This result was explained by the Nobel Committee policy (ended in 1960) to award the prize to the research group head only. Lattes calculated the pion's mass and, with USA physicist Eugene Gardner, demonstrated the existence of this particle after atomic collisions in a synchrotron
Synchrotron
A synchrotron is a particular type of cyclic particle accelerator in which the magnetic field and the electric field are carefully synchronised with the travelling particle beam. The proton synchrotron was originally conceived by Sir Marcus Oliphant...

. Gardner was denied a prize because he died soon thereafter.

The 1938 prize went to Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italian-born, naturalized American physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics...

 in part for "his demonstrations of the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation". However, in this case, the award later appeared to be premature: Fermi thought he had created transuranic elements (specifically, hesperium
Hesperium
Hesperium was the name assigned to the element with atomic number 94, now known as plutonium.It was named in Italian Esperio after a Greek name of Italy, Hesperia, "the land of the West"....

), but had in fact unwittingly demonstrated nuclear fission
Nuclear fission
In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts , often producing free neutrons and photons , and releasing a tremendous amount of energy...

 (and had actually created only fission products—isotopes of much lighter elements than uranium). The fact that Fermi's interpretation was incorrect was discovered shortly after he had received his prize.

The 1936 prize went to Carl D. Anderson for the discovery of the positron. While a graduate student at Caltech in 1930, Chung-Yao Chao
Chung-Yao Chao
Chung-Yao Chao was a Chinese physicist. Chung-Yao Chao studied the scattering of gamma rays in lead by pair production in 1930, without knowing that positrons were involved in the anomalously high scattering cross-section...

 was the first to experimentally identify positron
Positron
The positron or antielectron is the antiparticle or the antimatter counterpart of the electron. The positron has an electric charge of +1e, a spin of ½, and has the same mass as an electron...

s through electron-positron annihilation
Electron-positron annihilation
Electron–positron annihilation occurs when an electron and a positron collide. The result of the collision is the annihilation of the electron and positron, and the creation of gamma ray photons or, at higher energies, other particles:...

, but did not realize what they were. Anderson used the same radioactive source, , as Chao. (Historically, was known as "thorium C double prime" or "ThC", see decay chains.) Late in life, Anderson admitted that Chao had inspired his discovery: Chao's research formed the foundation from which much of Anderson's own work developed. Chao died in 1998, without sharing in a Nobel Prize acknowledgment.

The 1923 prize went to Robert Millikan
Robert Millikan
Robert A. Millikan was an American experimental physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his measurement of the charge on the electron and for his work on the photoelectric effect. He served as president of Caltech from 1921 to 1945...

 "for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect
Photoelectric effect
In the photoelectric effect, electrons are emitted from matter as a consequence of their absorption of energy from electromagnetic radiation of very short wavelength, such as visible or ultraviolet light. Electrons emitted in this manner may be referred to as photoelectrons...

". Millikan might have won in 1920 but for Felix Ehrenhaft
Felix Ehrenhaft
Felix Ehrenhaft was an Austrian physicist who contributed to atomic physics, to the measurement of electrical charges and to the optical properties of metal colloids. He was known for his maverick and controversial style...

's incorrect claim to have measured a smaller charge. Some controversy, however, still seems to linger over Millikan's oil-drop procedure and experimental interpretation, over whether Millikan manipulated his data in the 1913 scientific paper measuring the electron charge. Allegedly, he did not report all his observations.

The 1915 prize went to William Henry Bragg
William Henry Bragg
Sir William Henry Bragg OM, KBE, PRS was a British physicist, chemist, mathematician and active sportsman who uniquely shared a Nobel Prize with his son William Lawrence Bragg - the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics...

 and William Lawrence Bragg
William Lawrence Bragg
Sir William Lawrence Bragg CH OBE MC FRS was an Australian-born British physicist and X-ray crystallographer, discoverer of the Bragg law of X-ray diffraction, which is basic for the determination of crystal structure. He was joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915. He was knighted...

 "For their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays", an important step in the development of X-ray crystallography
X-ray crystallography
X-ray crystallography is a method of determining the arrangement of atoms within a crystal, in which a beam of X-rays strikes a crystal and causes the beam of light to spread into many specific directions. From the angles and intensities of these diffracted beams, a crystallographer can produce a...

. At the time, both Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

 and Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer...

 were mentioned as potential laureates. Despite their enormous scientific contributions, neither ever won the award, possibly because of their mutual animosity. Circumstantial evidence hints that each sought to minimize the other's achievements and right to win the award, that both refused to ever accept the award if the other received it first, and that both rejected any possibility of sharing it—as was rumored in the press. Tesla had a greater financial need for the award than Edison: in 1916, he filed for bankruptcy.
The 1909 prize was awarded to Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

 for the invention of radio. However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office first awarded the patent on radio to Tesla, but changed its decision in Marconi's favor in 1904. In 1942, the patent office reversed itself in Tesla's favor. In 1893, Tesla demonstrated the first public radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 communication. One year later, Indian physicist, Jagadish Chandra Bose, demonstrated publicly the use of radio waves in Calcutta. In 1894, Bose ignited gunpowder and rang a bell at a distance using electromagnetic waves, showing independently that signals could be sent without using wires. In 1896, the Daily Chronicle of England reported on his UHF experiments: "The inventor (J.C. Bose) has transmitted signals to a distance of nearly a mile and herein lies the first and obvious and exceedingly valuable application of this new theoretical marvel." Bose did not seek patent protection for sending signals. In 1899, Bose announced the development of an "iron-mercury-iron coherer with telephone detector" in a paper presented at the Royal Society in London. Later he received U.S. Patent 755,840, "Detector for electrical disturbances" (1904), for a specific electromagnetic receiver.

The 1903 prize was awarded to Henri Becquerel
Henri Becquerel
Antoine Henri Becquerel was a French physicist, Nobel laureate, and the discoverer of radioactivity along with Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, for which all three won the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics.-Early life:...

 (along with Pierre
Pierre Curie
Pierre Curie was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity, and Nobel laureate. He was the son of Dr. Eugène Curie and Sophie-Claire Depouilly Curie ...

 and Marie Curie
Marie Curie
Marie Skłodowska-Curie was a physicist and chemist famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes—in physics and chemistry...

) "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity". However, critics alleged that Becquerel merely rediscovered a phenomenon first noticed and investigated decades earlier by the French scientist Abel Niepce de Saint-Victor
Abel Niepce de Saint-Victor
Claude Félix Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor was a French photographic inventor. An army lieutenant and cousin of Nicéphore Niépce, he first experimented in 1847 with negatives made with albumen on glass, a method subsequently used by the Langenheim brothers for their lantern slides...

.

Other major unrecognized discoveries


None of the contributors to the discovery of nuclear fission
Nuclear fission
In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts , often producing free neutrons and photons , and releasing a tremendous amount of energy...

 won the prize. Lise Meitner
Lise Meitner
Lise Meitner FRS was an Austrian-born, later Swedish, physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Meitner was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission, an achievement for which her colleague Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize...

 contributed directly to the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939, Her work preceded that of Otto Hahn
Otto Hahn
Otto Hahn FRS was a German chemist and Nobel laureate, a pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry. He is regarded as "the father of nuclear chemistry". Hahn was a courageous opposer of Jewish persecution by the Nazis and after World War II he became a passionate campaigner...

. Working with the then-available experimental data, she managed, with Otto Robert Frisch
Otto Robert Frisch
Otto Robert Frisch , Austrian-British physicist. With his collaborator Rudolf Peierls he designed the first theoretical mechanism for the detonation of an atomic bomb in 1940.- Overview :...

's participation, to incorporate Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr
Niels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr mentored and collaborated with many of the top physicists of the century at his institute in...

's liquid drop model (first suggested by George Gamow
George Gamow
George Gamow , born Georgiy Antonovich Gamov , was a Russian-born theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He discovered alpha decay via quantum tunneling and worked on radioactive decay of the atomic nucleus, star formation, stellar nucleosynthesis, Big Bang nucleosynthesis, cosmic microwave...

) into fission's theoretical foundation. She also predicted the possibility of chain reaction
Chain reaction
A chain reaction is a sequence of reactions where a reactive product or by-product causes additional reactions to take place. In a chain reaction, positive feedback leads to a self-amplifying chain of events....

s. In an earlier collaboration with Hahn, she had independently discovered a new chemical element (called protactinium
Protactinium
Protactinium is a chemical element with the symbol Pa and atomic number 91. It is a dense, silvery-gray metal which readily reacts with oxygen, water vapor and inorganic acids. It forms various chemical compounds where protactinium is usually present in the oxidation state +5, but can also assume...

). Bohr nominated both for this work, in addition to recommending the Chemistry prize for Hahn. A junior contributor, Fritz Strassmann
Fritz Strassmann
Friedrich Wilhelm "Fritz" Strassmann was a German chemist who, with Otto Hahn in 1938, identified barium in the residue after bombarding uranium with neutrons, which led to the interpretation of their results as being from nuclear fission...

, was not considered for the prize. The Nazis successfully pressured Hahn to minimize Meitner's role, since she was Jewish. However, he maintained this position even after the war.

Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese-American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project...

 disproved the law of the conservation of parity
Parity (physics)
In physics, a parity transformation is the flip in the sign of one spatial coordinate. In three dimensions, it is also commonly described by the simultaneous flip in the sign of all three spatial coordinates:...

 (1956) and was the first Wolf Prize winner in physics. She died in 1997 without receiving a Nobel. Wu assisted Tsung-Dao Lee
Tsung-Dao Lee
Tsung-Dao Lee is a Chinese born-American physicist, well known for his work on parity violation, the Lee Model, particle physics, relativistic heavy ion physics, nontopological solitons and soliton stars....

 personally in his parity laws development—with Chen Ning Yang—by providing him in 1956 with a possible test method for beta decay that worked successfully.Her book Beta Decay (1965) is still a sine qua non
Sine qua non
Sine qua non or condicio sine qua non refers to an indispensable and essential action, condition, or ingredient...

 reference for nuclear physicists.

Einstein's annus mirabilis



Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

's 1921 Nobel Prize Award mainly recognized his 1905 discovery of the mechanism of the photoelectric effect
Photoelectric effect
In the photoelectric effect, electrons are emitted from matter as a consequence of their absorption of energy from electromagnetic radiation of very short wavelength, such as visible or ultraviolet light. Electrons emitted in this manner may be referred to as photoelectrons...

 and "for his services to Theoretical Physics". The Nobel committee passed on several nominations for his many other seminal contributions, although these led to prizes for others who later applied more advanced technology to experimentally verify his work. Many predictions of Einstein's theories have been verified as technology advances. Recent examples include the bending of light in a gravitational field
Gravitational field
The gravitational field is a model used in physics to explain the existence of gravity. In its original concept, gravity was a force between point masses...

, gravitational wave
Gravitational wave
In physics, gravitational waves are theoretical ripples in the curvature of spacetime which propagates as a wave, traveling outward from the source. Predicted to exist by Albert Einstein in 1916 on the basis of his theory of general relativity, gravitational waves theoretically transport energy as...

s, gravitational lensing and black holes. It wasn't until 1993 that the first evidence for the existence of gravitational radiation came via the Nobel Prize-winning measurements of the Hulse-Taylor binary system.

The committee also failed to recognize the other contributions of his Annus Mirabilis Papers
Annus Mirabilis Papers
The Annus Mirabilis papers are the papers of Albert Einstein published in the Annalen der Physik scientific journal in 1905. These four articles contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics and changed views on space, time, and matter...

 on Brownian motion
Brownian motion
Brownian motion or pedesis is the presumably random drifting of particles suspended in a fluid or the mathematical model used to describe such random movements, which is often called a particle theory.The mathematical model of Brownian motion has several real-world applications...

 and Special Relativity
Special relativity
Special relativity is the physical theory of measurement in an inertial frame of reference proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein in the paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies".It generalizes Galileo's...

. Often these nominations for Special Relativity were for both Hendrik Lorentz
Hendrik Lorentz
Hendrik Antoon Lorentz was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect...

 and Einstein. Henri Poincaré
Henri Poincaré
Jules Henri Poincaré was a French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and a philosopher of science...

 was also nominated at least once for his work, including on Lorentz's relativity theory. However, Kaufmann's then-experimental results (incorrectly) cast doubt on Special Relativity. These doubts were not resolved until 1915. By this time, Einstein had progressed to his General Theory of Relativity, including his theory of gravitation. Empirical support—in this case the predicted spectral shift of sunlight—was in question for many decades. The only piece of original evidence was the consistency with the known perihelion precession of the planet Mercury. Some additional support was gained at the end of 1919, when the predicted deflection of starlight near the sun was confirmed by Arthur Stanley Eddington
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, OM, FRS was a British astrophysicist of the early 20th century. He was also a philosopher of science and a popularizer of science...

's Solar Eclipse Expedition, though here again the actual results were somewhat ambiguous. (A TV movie was made in 2008 about this.)
Conclusive proof of the gravitational light deflection prediction was not achieved until the 1970s.

Physiology or medicine


The 2011 prize was awarded in part to Ralph Steinman, who died of cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 days before the award, a fact unknown to the Nobel committee at the time of the award. Committee rules prohibit posthumous awards, and Steinman's death created a dilemma unprecedented in the history of the award. The committee ruled that Steinman remained eligible for the award despite his death, under the rule that allows awardees to receive the award who die between being named and the awards ceremony.

The 2008 prize was awarded in part to Harald zur Hausen
Harald zur Hausen
Harald zur Hausen is a German virologist and professor emeritus. He has done research on cancer of the cervix, where he discovered the role of papilloma viruses, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008.-Biography:Zur Hausen was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, went to...

 "for his discovery of human papilloma viruses (HPV) causing cervical cancer
Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri or cervical area. One of the most common symptoms is abnormal vaginal bleeding, but in some cases there may be no obvious symptoms until the cancer is in its advanced stages...

". The Swedish police anticorruption unit investigated charges of improper influence by AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca plc is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries...

, which had a stake in two lucrative HPV vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

s. The company had agreed to sponsor Nobel Media and Nobel Web and had strong links with two senior figures in the process that chose zur Hausen.

The other half of the 2008 prize was split between Luc Montagnier
Luc Montagnier
Luc Antoine Montagnier is a French virologist and joint recipient with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Harald zur Hausen of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus...

 and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi is a French virologist and director of the Unité de Régulation des Infections Rétrovirales at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Born in Paris, France, Barré-Sinoussi performed some of the fundamental work in the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus as...

 "for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus". The omission of Robert Gallo
Robert Gallo
Robert Charles Gallo is an American biomedical researcher. He is best known for his role in the discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus , the infectious agent responsible for the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome , and he has been a major contributor to subsequent HIV research.Gallo is the...

 was controversial: 106 scientists signed a letter to the journal Science stating that 'While these awardees fully deserve the award, it is equally important to recognize the contributions of Robert C. Gallo', which 'warrant equal recognition'. Montagnier said that he was 'surprised' that the award had not been shared with Gallo.

The 2006 prize went to Andrew Fire
Andrew Fire
Andrew Zachary Fire is an American biologist and professor of pathology and of genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Craig C. Mello, for the discovery of RNA interference...

 and Craig C. Mello "for their discovery of RNA interference
RNA interference
RNA interference is a process within living cells that moderates the activity of their genes. Historically, it was known by other names, including co-suppression, post transcriptional gene silencing , and quelling. Only after these apparently unrelated processes were fully understood did it become...

—gene silencing by double-stranded RNA
RNA
Ribonucleic acid , or RNA, is one of the three major macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life....

". Many of the discoveries credited by the committee to Fire and Mello, who studied RNA interference in C. elegans
Caenorhabditis elegans
Caenorhabditis elegans is a free-living, transparent nematode , about 1 mm in length, which lives in temperate soil environments. Research into the molecular and developmental biology of C. elegans was begun in 1974 by Sydney Brenner and it has since been used extensively as a model...

, had been previously studied by plant biologists, and was suggested that at least one plant biologist, such as David Baulcombe
Small interfering RNA
Small interfering RNA , sometimes known as short interfering RNA or silencing RNA, is a class of double-stranded RNA molecules, 20-25 nucleotides in length, that play a variety of roles in biology. The most notable role of siRNA is its involvement in the RNA interference pathway, where it...

, should have been awarded a share of the prize.

The 2003 prize was awarded to Paul Lauterbur
Paul Lauterbur
Paul Christian Lauterbur was an American chemist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2003 with Peter Mansfield for his work which made the development of magnetic resonance imaging possible.Dr...

 and Sir Peter Mansfield
Peter Mansfield
Sir Peter Mansfield, FRS, , is a British physicist who was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging . The Nobel Prize was shared with Paul Lauterbur, who also contributed to the development of MRI...

 "for their discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging , nuclear magnetic resonance imaging , or magnetic resonance tomography is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures...

" (MRI). Two independent alternatives have been alleged. Raymond Damadian first reported that NMR
NMR
NMR may refer to:Applications of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance:* Nuclear magnetic resonance* NMR spectroscopy* Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance* Protein nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy* Proton NMR* Carbon-13 NMR...

 could distinguish in vitro between cancerous and non-cancerous tissues on the basis of different proton relaxation times. He later translated this into the first human scan. Damadian's original report prompted Lauterbur to develop NMR into the present method. Damadian took out large advertisements in an international newspapers protesting his exclusion. Some researchers felt that Damadian's work deserved at least equal credit.Separately, Herman Y. Carr both pioneered the NMR gradient technique and demonstrated rudimentary MRI imaging in the 1950s. The Nobel prize winners had almost certainly seen Carr's work, but did not cite it. Consequently, the prize committee very likely was unaware of Carr's discoveries, a situation likely abetted by Damadian's campaign.

The 2000 prize went to Arvid Carlsson
Arvid Carlsson
Arvid Carlsson is a Swedish scientist who is best known for his work with the neurotransmitter dopamine and its effects in Parkinson's disease...

, Paul Greengard
Paul Greengard
Paul Greengard is an American neuroscientist best known for his work on the molecular and cellular function of neurons. In 2000, Greengard, Arvid Carlsson and Eric Kandel were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous...

, and Eric R. Kandel
Eric R. Kandel
Eric Richard Kandel is an American neuropsychiatrist who was a recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on the physiological basis of memory storage in neurons...

, "for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system". The award caused many neuroscientists to protest that Oleh Hornykiewicz
Oleh Hornykiewicz
-Biography:Hornykiewicz was born in 1926 in Sykhiw, then in Poland . In 1951, he received his M.D. degree from the University of Vienna and joined the faculty of his alma mater the same year and has worked there ever since. He also served for twenty years as chairman of the Institute of Biochemical...

, who helped pioneer the dopamine replacement treatment for Parkinson's disease, was left out, and that Hornykiewicz's research provided a foundation for the honorees' success.

The 1997 prize was awarded to Dr. Stanley B. Prusiner
Stanley B. Prusiner
Stanley Ben Prusiner is an American neurologist and biochemist. Currently the director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at University of California, San Francisco . Prusiner discovered prions, a class of infectious self-reproducing pathogens primarily or solely composed of protein...

 for his discovery of prions. This award caused a long stream of polemics. Critics attacked the validity of the work, which had been criticized by other researchers as not yet proven.

The 1993 prize went to Philip Allen Sharp and Richard J. Roberts
Richard J. Roberts
Sir Richard "Rich" John Roberts is a British biochemist and molecular biologist. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing.When he was 4, his family moved to Bath. In...

 "for their discoveries of split genes" the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 and the mechanism of gene splicing. Several other scientists, such as Norman Davidson and James D. Watson
James D. Watson
James Dewey Watson is an American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist, best known as one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick...

, argued that Louise T. Chow, a China-born Taiwanese researcher who collaborated with Roberts, should have had part of the prize. In 1976, as Staff Investigator, Chow carried out the studies of the genomic origins and structures of adenovirus transcripts that led directly to the discovery of RNA splicing and alternative RNA processing at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a private, non-profit institution with research programs focusing on cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. The Laboratory has a broad educational mission, including the recently established Watson School of Biological Sciences. It...

 on Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

 in 1977. Norman Davidson, (a Caltech expert in electron microscopy, under whom Chow apprenticed as a graduate student), affirmed that Chow operated the electron microscope
Electron microscope
An electron microscope is a type of microscope that uses a beam of electrons to illuminate the specimen and produce a magnified image. Electron microscopes have a greater resolving power than a light-powered optical microscope, because electrons have wavelengths about 100,000 times shorter than...

 through which the splicing process was observed, and was the crucial experiment's sole designer, using techniques she had developed.

The 1975 prize was awarded to David Baltimore
David Baltimore
David Baltimore is an American biologist, university administrator, and Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. He served as president of the California Institute of Technology from 1997 to 2006, and is currently the Robert A. Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech...

, Renato Dulbecco
Renato Dulbecco
Renato Dulbecco is an Italian virologist who won a 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on reverse transcriptase. In 1973 he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Theodore Puck and Harry Eagle. Dulbecco was the recipient of the Selman A...

 and Howard Martin Temin
Howard Martin Temin
Howard Martin Temin was a U.S. geneticist. Along with Renato Dulbecco and David Baltimore he discovered reverse transcriptase in the 1970s at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, for which he shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.-Scientific career:Temin's description of how tumor...

 "for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell". It has been argued that Dulbecco was distantly, if at all, involved in this ground-breaking work. Further, the award failed to recognize the contributions of Satoshi Mizutani, Temin's Japanese postdoctoral fellow. Mizutani and Temin jointly discovered that the Rous sarcoma virus
Rous sarcoma virus
Rous sarcoma virus is a retrovirus and is the first oncovirus to have been described: it causes sarcoma in chickens.As with all retroviruses, it reverse transcribes its RNA genome into cDNA before integration into the host DNA.-History:...

 particle contained the enzyme
Enzyme
Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process, called substrates, are converted into different molecules, called products. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates...

 reverse transcriptase
Reverse transcriptase
In the fields of molecular biology and biochemistry, a reverse transcriptase, also known as RNA-dependent DNA polymerase, is a DNA polymerase enzyme that transcribes single-stranded RNA into single-stranded DNA. It also helps in the formation of a double helix DNA once the RNA has been reverse...

. However, Mizutani was solely responsible for the original conception and design of the novel experiment that confirmed Temin's provirus
Provirus
A provirus is a virus genome that is integrated into the DNA of a host cell.This state can be a stage of virus replication, or a state that persists over longer periods of time as either inactive viral infections or an endogenous retrovirus. In inactive viral infections the virus will not replicate...

 hypothesis
. A second controversy implicated Baltimore in the "Imanishi-Kari" affair, involving charges that Thereza Imanishi-Kari
Thereza Imanishi-Kari
Thereza Imanishi-Kari is an Associate Professor of Pathology at Tufts University.-Biography:Imanishi-Kari is best known for her role in an affair of alleged scientific misconduct. In 1986, Imanishi-Kari had co-authored a scientific paper on immunology with David Baltimore...

, a researcher in his laboratory, had fabricated data. Imanishi-Kari was initially found to have committed scientific fraud by the Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI), following highly publicized and politicized hearings. However, in 1996, she was vindicated by an appeals panel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which overturned the OSI's findings and criticized their investigation. Baltimore's staunch defense of Imanishi-Kari initially drew substantial criticism and controversy; the case itself was often referred to as "The Baltimore Affair", and contributed to his resignation as president of Rockefeller University
Rockefeller University
The Rockefeller University is a private university offering postgraduate and postdoctoral education. It has a strong concentration in the biological sciences. It is also known for producing numerous Nobel laureates...

. Following Imanishi-Kari's vindication, Baltimore's role was reassessed; the New York Times opined that "... the most notorious fraud case in recent scientific history has collapsed in embarrassment for the Federal Government and belated vindication for the accused scientist."

The 1973 prize went to Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Zacharias Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch...

, Nikolaas Tinbergen
Nikolaas Tinbergen
Nikolaas "Niko" Tinbergen was a Dutch ethologist and ornithologist who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Karl von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns in animals.In the 1960s he...

 and Karl von Frisch
Karl von Frisch
Karl Ritter von Frisch was an Austrian ethologist who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973, along with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz....

 "for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns". Von Frisch's contribution was the "dance language" of bees. However, controversy emerged over the lack of direct proof of the waggle dance
Waggle dance
Waggle dance is a term used in beekeeping and ethology for a particular figure-eight dance of the honey bee. By performing this dance, successful foragers can share with their hive mates information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen, to water...

—as exactly worded by von Frisch. A team of researchers from Rothamsted Research in 2005 settled the controversy by using radar to track bees as they flew to a food source. Their results did not exactly match von Frisch's original formulation, ending up closer to his opponent Adrian Wenner's theory that the bees used the odor of the food returned by the dancer.

The 1968 prize went to Robert W. Holley
Robert W. Holley
Robert William Holley was an American biochemist. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 for describing the structure of alanine transfer RNA, linking DNA and protein synthesis.Holley was born in Urbana, Illinois, and graduated from Urbana High School in 1938...

, Har Gobind Khorana and Marshall W. Nirenberg "for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis". However, Heinrich J. Matthaei
Heinrich J. Matthaei
J. Heinrich Matthaei is a German biochemist. He is best known for his unique contribution to solving the genetic code on May 15, 1961...

 broke the genetic code
Genetic code
The genetic code is the set of rules by which information encoded in genetic material is translated into proteins by living cells....

 in 1961 with Nirenberg in their poly-U experiment at National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health are an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and are the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation...

 (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, paving the way for modern genetics
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

. Matthaei was responsible for experimentally obtaining the first codon (nucleotide
Nucleotide
Nucleotides are molecules that, when joined together, make up the structural units of RNA and DNA. In addition, nucleotides participate in cellular signaling , and are incorporated into important cofactors of enzymatic reactions...

 triple that usually specifies an amino acid
Amino acid
Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen...

) extract, while Nirenberg tampered with his initial, accurate results (due to his belief in 'less precise', 'more believable' data presentation).

The 1962 prize was awarded to James D. Watson
James D. Watson
James Dewey Watson is an American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist, best known as one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick...

, Francis Crick
Francis Crick
Francis Harry Compton Crick OM FRS was an English molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist, and most noted for being one of two co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953, together with James D. Watson...

 and Maurice Wilkins
Maurice Wilkins
Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins CBE FRS was a New Zealand-born English physicist and molecular biologist, and Nobel Laureate whose research contributed to the scientific understanding of phosphorescence, isotope separation, optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction, and to the development of radar...

 "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material". It did not recognize critical contributions from Alec Stokes
Alec Stokes
Alexander Rawson Stokes, was a co-author of one of the three paperspublished sequentially in Nature in March 1953 announcing the presumed...

, Herbert Wilson
Herbert Wilson
Professor Herbert R. Wilson, FRS was a physicist, who was one of the team who worked on the structure of DNA at King's College London, under the direction of Sir John Randall.-College education:...

, and Erwin Chargaff
Erwin Chargaff
Erwin Chargaff was an American biochemist who emigrated to the United States during the Nazi era. Through careful experimentation, Chargaff discovered two rules that helped lead to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA...

. In addition, Erwin Chargaff
Erwin Chargaff
Erwin Chargaff was an American biochemist who emigrated to the United States during the Nazi era. Through careful experimentation, Chargaff discovered two rules that helped lead to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA...

, Oswald Avery
Oswald Avery
Oswald Theodore Avery ForMemRS was a Canadian-born American physician and medical researcher. The major part of his career was spent at the Rockefeller University Hospital in New York City...

 and Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Elsie Franklin was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite...

 (whose key DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 X-ray crystallography
X-ray crystallography
X-ray crystallography is a method of determining the arrangement of atoms within a crystal, in which a beam of X-rays strikes a crystal and causes the beam of light to spread into many specific directions. From the angles and intensities of these diffracted beams, a crystallographer can produce a...

 work was the most detailed yet least acknowledged among the three) contributed directly to Watson and Crick's ability to solve the DNA molecule's structure. Avery's death in 1955, and Franklin's in 1958, eliminated them from contention.

The 1952 prize was awarded solely to Selman Waksman
Selman Waksman
Selman Abraham Waksman was an American biochemist and microbiologist whose research into organic substances—largely into organisms that live in soil—and their decomposition promoted the discovery of Streptomycin, and several other antibiotics...

 "for his discovery of streptomycin
Streptomycin
Streptomycin is an antibiotic drug, the first of a class of drugs called aminoglycosides to be discovered, and was the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis. It is derived from the actinobacterium Streptomyces griseus. Streptomycin is a bactericidal antibiotic. Streptomycin cannot be given...

, the first antibiotic
Antibiotic
An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

 effective against tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

" and omitted recognition due his co-discoverer Albert Schatz
Albert Schatz (scientist)
Albert Schatz was the co-discoverer of streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy used to treat tuberculosis and a number of other diseases...

. Schatz sued Waksman over the details and credit of the discovery. Schatz was awarded a substantial settlement, and, together with Waksman, Schatz was legally recognized as a co-discoverer.

The 1949 prize was awarded to Portuguese neurologist Antonio Egas Moniz "for his discovery of the therapeutic value of leucotomy (lobotomy) in certain psychoses". Soon after, Dr. Walter Freeman developed the transorbital lobotomy, which was easier to carry out. Criticism was raised because the procedure was often prescribed injudiciously and without regard for medical ethics
Medical ethics
Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology.-History:Historically,...

. Popular acceptance of the procedure had been fostered by enthusiastic press coverage such as a 1938 "New York Times" report. Endorsed by such influential publications as The New England Journal of Medicine, in the three years following the Prize, some 5,000 lobotomies were performed in the United States alone, and many more throughout the world.Joseph Kennedy, father of U.S. President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, had his daughter Rosemary
Rosemary Kennedy
Rose Marie "Rosemary" Kennedy was the third child and first daughter of Rose Elizabeth Kennedy née Fitzgerald and Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr., born little more than a year after her brother, future U.S. President John F. Kennedy...

 lobotomized when she was in her twenties. The procedure later fell into disrepute and was prohibited in many countries.

The 1945 prize was awarded to Ernst Boris Chain
Ernst Boris Chain
Sir Ernst Boris Chain was a German-born British biochemist, and a 1945 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on penicillin.-Biography:...

, Howard Florey and Alexander Fleming
Alexander Fleming
Sir Alexander Fleming was a Scottish biologist and pharmacologist. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy...

 "for the discovery of penicillin
Penicillin
Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. They include penicillin G, procaine penicillin, benzathine penicillin, and penicillin V....

 and its curative effect in various infectious disease
Infectious disease
Infectious diseases, also known as communicable diseases, contagious diseases or transmissible diseases comprise clinically evident illness resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism...

s". Fleming accidentally stumbled upon the then-unidentified fungal
Fungus
A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds , as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria...

 mold
Mold
Molds are fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. Molds are not considered to be microbes but microscopic fungi that grow as single cells called yeasts...

. However, some critics pointed out that Fleming did not in fact discover penicillin, that it was technically a rediscovery; decades before Fleming, Sir John Scott Burdon-Sanderson
John Scott Burdon-Sanderson
Sir John Scott Burdon-Sanderson, Bt., F.R.S. was an English physiologist born near Newcastle upon Tyne. A member of a well known Northumbrian family, he received his medical education at the University of Edinburgh and at Paris...

, William Roberts (physician)
William Roberts (physician)
Sir William Roberts FRS was a physician in Manchester, England.Roberts was born on 18 March 1830 at Bodedern on the Isle of Anglesey the son David and Sarah Roberts, he was educated at Mill Hill School and at University College London. He graduated with a BA at London University in 1851 and became...

, John Tyndall
John Tyndall
John Tyndall FRS was a prominent Irish 19th century physicist. His initial scientific fame arose in the 1850s from his study of diamagnetism. Later he studied thermal radiation, and produced a number of discoveries about processes in the atmosphere...

 and Ernest Duchesne
Ernest Duchesne
Ernest Duchesne was a French physician who noted that certain moulds kill bacteria. He made this discovery 32 years before Alexander Fleming discovered the antibiotic properties of penicillin, a substance derived from those moulds, but his research went unnoticed.-Life and work:Duchesne...

) had already done studies and research on its useful properties and medicinal characteristics. Moreover, according to Fleming himself, the first known reference to penicillin was from Psalm 51
Psalm 51
Psalm 51 , traditionally referred to as the Miserere, its Latin incipit, is one of the Penitential Psalms. It begins: Have mercy on me, O God....

: "Purge me with hyssop
Hyssop
Hyssop is a genus of about 10-12 species of herbaceous or semi-woody plants in the family Lamiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to central Asia. They are aromatic, with erect branched stems up to 60 cm long covered with fine hairs at the tips. The leaves are narrow oblong, 2–5 cm...

 and I shall be clean". Meanwhile, he had learned from mycologist Charles Thom (the same who helped Fleming establish the identity of the mysterious fungal mold) that "Penicillium notatum" was first recognized by Westling, a Swedish chemist, from a specimen of decayed hyssop. In this award, as it had been pointed out, several deserving contemporaneous contributors had been left out of the Prize altogether
Discovery of penicillin
Alexander Fleming was the first to suggest that the Penicillium mould must secrete an antibacterial substance, and the first to isolate the active substance which he named penicillin, but he was not the first to use its properties...

.

The 1926 prize went to Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger
Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger
Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger was a Danish scientist, physician, and professor of pathological anatomy who won the 1926 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Fibiger had claimed to find an organism he called Spiroptera carcinoma that caused cancer in mice and rats. He received a Nobel prize for...

, "for his discovery of the Spiroptera carcinoma
Spiroptera carcinoma
Gongylonema neoplasticum is a species of nematode.It was previously known as Spiroptera carcinoma. Under this name, it was the basis of the research that won Johannes Fibiger the 1926 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine....

", a microbial parasite which Fibiger claimed was the cause of cancer. This "finding" was discredited by other scientists shortly thereafter.

The 1923 prize was awarded to Frederick Banting
Frederick Banting
Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRS, FRSC was a Canadian medical scientist, doctor and Nobel laureate noted as one of the main discoverers of insulin....

 and John Macleod "for the discovery of insulin
Insulin
Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle....

". Banting clearly deserved the prize, however, the choice of Macleod as co-winner was controversial. Banting initially refused to accept the prize with Macleod, claiming that he did not deserve it, and that Charles Best was the proper corecipient. Banting complained that Macleod's initial contribution to the project had only been to let Banting use his lab space at the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

 while Macleod was on vacation. Macleod also loaned Banting a lab assistant (Best) to help with the experiments, and ten dogs for experimentation. Banting and Best achieved limited success with their experiments, which they presented to Macleod in the fall of 1921. Macleod pointed out design flaws in some experiments. He then advised Banting and Best to repeat the experiments with better lab equipment, more dogs, and better controls and provided better lab space. He also began paying Banting. The salary made their relationship official, and equivalent to the present-day relationship between a postdoctoral researcher
Postdoctoral researcher
Postdoctoral research is scholarly research conducted by a person who has recently completed doctoral studies, normally within the previous five years. It is intended to further deepen expertise in a specialist subject, including acquiring novel skills and methods...

 and supervisor. Banting and Best repeated the experiments, which were conclusive. While Banting's original method of isolating insulin worked, it was too labor-intensive for large-scale production. Best then set about finding a biochemical extraction method. Meanwhile, James Bertram Collip, a chemistry professor on sabbatical from the University of Alberta
University of Alberta
The University of Alberta is a public research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first premier of Alberta and Henry Marshall Tory, its first president, it is widely recognized as one of the best universities in Canada...

 joined what was now Macleod's team, and sought a biochemical method for extracting insulin in parallel with Best. Best and Collip simultaneously succeeded. The fact that Banting was being supported with money from Macleod's research grants was no doubt a factor in the Nobel Committee's decision. When Banting agreed to share the prize, he gave half his prize money to Best. Macleod, in turn, split his half of the prize money with Collip. Later, it became known that Nicolae Paulescu
Nicolae Paulescu
Nicolae Paulescu was a Romanian physiologist, professor of medicine, the discoverer of insulin . The "pancreine" was a crude extract of bovine pancreas in salted water, after which some impurites were removed with hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide.-Early life and activities:Born in Bucharest,...

, a Romanian professor, had been working on diabetes since 1916, and may have isolated insulin (which he called pancreatine) about a year before the Canadians.

Oswald Theodore Avery, best known for his 1944 demonstration
Avery-MacLeod-McCarty experiment
The Avery–MacLeod–McCarty experiment was an experimental demonstration, reported in 1944 by Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty, that DNA is the substance that causes bacterial transformation...

 that DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 is the cause of bacterial transformation and potentially the material of which genes
Gênes
Gênes is the name of a département of the First French Empire in present Italy, named after the city of Genoa. It was formed in 1805, when Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the Republic of Genoa. Its capital was Genoa, and it was divided in the arrondissements of Genoa, Bobbio, Novi Ligure, Tortona and...

 are composed, never received a Nobel Prize, although two Nobel Laureates, Joshua Lederberg
Joshua Lederberg
Joshua Lederberg ForMemRS was an American molecular biologist known for his work in microbial genetics, artificial intelligence, and the United States space program. He was just 33 years old when he won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering that bacteria can mate and...

 and Arne Tiselius
Arne Tiselius
Arne Wilhelm Kaurin Tiselius was a Swedish biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1948.- Biography:Tiselius was born in Stockholm...

, praised him and his work as a pioneering platform for further genetic research. According to John M. Barry
John M. Barry
John M. Barry is an American author and historian, perhaps best known for his books on the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and the influenza pandemic of 1918....

, in his book The Great Influenza, the committee was preparing to award Avery, but declined to do so after the DNA findings were published, fearing that they would be endorsing findings that had not yet survived significant scrutiny.

Involuntary refusals


In 1936, the Nobel Foundation offended Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 when it awarded the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize to Carl von Ossietzky
Carl von Ossietzky
Carl von Ossietzky was a German pacifist and the recipient of the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize. He was convicted of high treason and espionage in 1931 after publishing details of Germany's alleged violation of the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding an air force, the predecessor of the Luftwaffe, and...

, a German writer who publicly opposed Hitler and Nazism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

. (At that time, the prize was awarded the following year.) Hitler reacted by issuing a decree on 31 January 1937 that forbade German nationals to accept any Nobel Prize. Awarding the peace prize to Ossietzky was itself considered controversial. While Fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 had few supporters outside Italy and Germany, those who did not necessarily sympathize felt that it was wrong to (deliberately) offend Germany.

Hitler's decree prevented three Germans from accepting their prizes: Gerhard Domagk
Gerhard Domagk
Gerhard Johannes Paul Domagk was a German pathologist and bacteriologist credited with the discovery of Sulfonamidochrysoidine – the first commercially available antibiotic – for which he received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.Domagk was born in Lagow, Brandenburg, the...

 (1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine), Richard Kuhn
Richard Kuhn
Richard Kuhn was an Austrian-German biochemist, Nobel laureate, and Nazi collaborator.-Early life:Kuhn was born in Vienna, Austria where he attended grammar school and high school. His interest in chemistry surfaced early; however he had many interests and decided late to study chemistry...

 (1938 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), and Adolf Butenandt
Adolf Butenandt
Adolf Friedrich Johann Butenandt was a German biochemist and member of the Nazi party. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1939 for his "work on sex hormones." He initially rejected the award in accordance with government policy, but accepted it in 1949 after World War...

 (1939 Nobel Prize in Chemistry). The three later received their certificates and medals, but not the prize money.

On 19 October 1939, about a month and a half after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 had started, the Nobel Committee of the Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska institutet is a medical university in Solna within the Stockholm urban area, Sweden, and one of Europe's largest medical universities...

 met to discuss the 1939 prize in physiology or medicine. The majority favored Domagk and someone leaked the news, which traveled to Berlin. The Kulturministerium in Berlin replied with a telegram stating that a Nobel Prize to a German was "completely unwanted" (durchaus unerwünscht). Despite the telegram, a large majority voted for on 26 October 1939. Once he learned of the decision, hopeful that it only applied to the peace prize, Domagk sent a request to the Ministry of Education in Berlin asking permission to accept the prize. Since he did not receive a reply after more than a week had passed, he felt it would be impolite to wait any longer without responding, and on 3 November 1939 he wrote a letter to the Institute thanking them for the distinction, but added that he had to wait for the government's approval before he could accept the prize. He was subsequently ordered to send a copy of his letter to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Berlin, and on 17 November 1939, was arrested by the Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

. He was released after one week, then arrested again. On 28 November 1939, he was forced by the Kulturministerium to sign a prepared letter, addressed to the Institute, declining the prize. Since the Institute had already prepared his medal and diploma before the second letter arrived, they were able to award them to him later, during the 1947 Nobel festival. Domagk was the first to decline a prize. Due to his refusal, the procedures changed so that if a laureate declined the prize or failed to collect the prize award before 1 October of the following year, the money would not be awarded.

On 9 November 1939, the Royal Academy of Sciences awarded the 1938 Prize for Chemistry to Kuhn and half of the 1939 prize to Butenandt. When notified of the decision, the German scientists were forced to decline by threats of violence. Their refusal letters arrived in Stockholm after Domagk's refusal letter, helping to confirm suspicions that the German government had forced them to refuse the prize. In 1948, they wrote to the Academy expressing their gratitude for the prizes and their regret for being forced to refuse them in 1939. They were awarded their medals and diplomas at a ceremony in July 1949.

Otto Heinrich Warburg
Otto Heinrich Warburg
Otto Heinrich Warburg , son of physicist Emil Warburg, was a German physiologist, medical doctor and Nobel laureate. He served as an officer in the elite Uhlan during the First World War and won the Iron Cross for bravery. Warburg was one of the twentieth century's leading biochemists...

, a German national who won the 1931 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, was rumored to have been selected for the 1944 prize, but was forbidden to accept it. According to the Nobel Foundation, this story is not true.

Boris Pasternak
Boris Pasternak
Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was a Russian language poet, novelist, and literary translator. In his native Russia, Pasternak's anthology My Sister Life, is one of the most influential collections ever published in the Russian language...

 at first accepted the 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature, but was forced by Soviet authorities to decline, because the prize was considered a "reward for the dissident political innuendo in his novel, Doctor Zhivago
Doctor Zhivago
-Original creation:*Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak, published in 1957**Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago, a fictional character and the main protagonist of the book Doctor Zhivago-Adaptations:There are several adaptations based on the Doctor Zhivago book:...

." Pasternak died without ever receiving the prize. He was eventually honored by the Nobel Foundation at a banquet in Stockholm on 9 December 1989, when they presented his medal to his son.

Voluntary refusals


Two laureates voluntarily declined the Nobel Prize. Jean Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

 declined 1964 prize for Literature, stating, "A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution, even if it takes place in the most honourable form." The second person who refused the prize is Lê Đức Thọ
Le Duc Tho
Lê Đức Thọ , born Phan Đình Khải in Ha Nam province, was a Vietnamese revolutionary, general, diplomat, and politician, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1973, although he declined it....

, who was awarded the 1973 Peace Prize for his role in the Paris Peace Accords
Paris Peace Accords
The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 intended to establish peace in Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam War, ended direct U.S. military involvement, and temporarily stopped the fighting between North and South Vietnam...

. He declined, claiming there was no actual peace in Vietnam.

Prizes in non-Nobel domains


Multiple primary fields of human intellectual endeavor-such as mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, philosophy and social studies
Social studies
Social studies is the "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence," as defined by the American National Council for the Social Studies...

-were not included among the Nobel Prizes, because they were not part of Alfred Nobel's will. When Jakob von Uexkull
Jakob von Uexkull
Jakob von Uexkull is a writer, lecturer, philanthropist, activist and former politician. He served as a Member of the European Parliament 1987–1989, representing the German Green Party. In 1980, Uexkull founded the Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, and in 2006,...

 approached the Nobel Foundation with a proposal to establish two new awards for the environment and for the lives of the poor, he was turned down. He then established the Right Livelihood Award
Right Livelihood Award
The Right Livelihood Award, also referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", is a prestigious international award to honour those "working on practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today". The prize was established in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull, and is...

.

In 2003 purportedly a new Nobel-equivalent Award was also created especially for mathematics, the Abel Prize
Abel Prize
The Abel Prize is an international prize presented annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. The prize is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel . It has often been described as the "mathematician's Nobel prize" and is among the most prestigious...

, though the older Fields Medal
Fields Medal
The Fields Medal, officially known as International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, is a prize awarded to two, three, or four mathematicians not over 40 years of age at each International Congress of the International Mathematical Union , a meeting that takes place every four...

 is often considered as the mathematical Nobel equivalent.

However, the Nobel Committee did allow the creation of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. Many people have opposed this expansion, including the Swedish human rights lawyer Peter Nobel, a great-grandnephew of Alfred Nobel. In his speech at the 1974 Nobel banquet, awardee Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich August Hayek CH , born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek, was an economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought...

 stated that had he been consulted whether to establish an economics prize, he would "have decidedly advised against it" primarily because "the Nobel Prize confers on an individual an authority which in economics no man ought to possess... This does not matter in the natural sciences. Here the influence exercised by an individual is chiefly an influence on his fellow experts; and they will soon cut him down to size if he exceeds his competence. But the influence of the economist that mainly matters is an influence over laymen: politicians, journalists, civil servants and the public generally."

Alternatives to the Nobel Prizes


Following the announcement of the award of the 2010 Peace Prize
2010 Nobel Peace Prize
The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to imprisoned Chinese human rights activist "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China"...

 to incarcerated Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese tabloid Global Times
Global Times
The Global Times is a daily Chinese tabloid under the auspices of the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper, the People's Daily, focusing on international issues...

created the Confucius Peace Prize. The award ceremony was deliberately organized to take place on 8 December, one day before the Nobel ceremony. Organizers said that the prize had no relation to the Chinese government, the Ministry of Culture or Beijing Normal University.

The German National Prize for Art and Science
German National Prize for Art and Science
The German National Prize for Art and Science was an award created by Adolf Hitler in 1937 as a replacement for the Nobel Prize . The award was designed by Müller-Erfurt and created in the form of a pendant studded with diamonds...

 was Hitler's alternative to the Nobel Prize.

The Ig Nobel Prize
Ig Nobel Prize
The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. The stated aim of the prizes is to "first make people laugh, and then make them think"...

is an American parody of the Nobel Prize.

External links